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.