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Author Topic: Honey and bee juice  (Read 431 times)
megs_westaus
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Location: Perth, Western Australia


« on: December 11, 2012, 07:48:50 PM »

My first ever "mini" honey harvest was primarily from burr comb built onto the lid of one of my hives (they'd gotten very over crowded due to a lack of boxes to add to the hives).

I harvested the comb into two buckets - one bucket was for nice clean capped honey with no bees on it, and the second bucket was for all the messy stuff like uncapped comb and chunks of comb that had become a sticky mess entrapping bees.

The second bucket ended up with quite a lot of bees mixed in, and once filtered the honey out it could easily be passed off as good clean honey, but I know it has a large quantity of less savoury bee juices in it so I won't be doing that.

Instead I plan to feed this honey back to the hive it came from.

I have 2 questions:

- Is there an accepted amount of bees and other junk that can be in honey before it's filtered. Am I just being squeamish about this batch of honey when I've been eating a similar product bought from the store my whole life?

- Is there any point in feeding the honey to the bees while there is so much food out there for them, or should I wait til winter because they wouldn't touch it now? I thought if I feed it to them now then the next harvest will come that much quicker, but only if they eat is as a preference to pollen/nectar/their own honey stores and don't just leave it sitting there.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 08:27:09 PM »

There is no need to filter the honey if you are feeding it back to the bees.  The bees will clean up the honey out of the burr comb.  
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megs_westaus
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« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2012, 05:41:04 AM »

But isn't leaving comb out for bees to clean up frowned upon because it can spread disease etc? I can't think of a way to leave the burr comb inside the hive while keeping things neat and tidy.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 08:06:14 AM »

Feeding honey to bees, whether filtered or not,  still has the same potential to spread disease.  However,  the concern is when feeding honey of unknown origin.   There is no risk feeding their own honey back to them.

Burr comb can simply be placed on top of the inner cover and an empty super placed around it with the top cover on top.
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