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Author Topic: Found dead hive, is honey ok to eat?  (Read 1919 times)
Noobee
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« on: January 06, 2013, 10:37:00 PM »

Hi,  While collecting dead wood on my land, I found a 4 foot section of tree full of honeycomb. The tree was killed by emerald ash borer.  
Part of the hive had dead bees (and larvae?..there were white cells), part had dark honey comb full of honey and very small part was a clear light yellow also full of honey.  There was also empty honeycomb.
I collected the honeycomb, crushed it and strained it through cheesecloth. It looks great... But is it safe to eat? Is there a pasteurization process I should try?
Any help would be great, I'd love to be able to use this large amount of honey!
Thanks!
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edward
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FEED ME HONEY or I`ll smash your screen !


« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2013, 11:02:13 PM »

Bon appetit grin
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 12:12:47 AM »

The old emerald ash borer at work again huh?  Are you in the Midwest someplace?  

It's always a good idea to make an educated guess why a hive died before eating the honey IMO.  If it was sprayed with pesticides, I don't think I would want to eat it.  Were there a bunch of dead bees in the tree too?

OK, I just re-read your post.  Yes there were bees and the tree was on YOUR land right?

That being the case, it shouldn't have died out from somebody spraying it with pesticide.  Sounds like it may have froze out this winter if the wax moths haven't attacked the comb.  That being the case, I would probably agree with Edward.  
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danno
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 07:59:37 AM »

might as well use the wax also.  Use your crush and strain wax plus any other you can scrape out of the tree. Bee's and all.  Save it for next summer and make a quick solar melter
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Noobee
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 08:30:16 AM »

Thanks, guys! I really appreciate the help!
@Bluebee... Yes my land, no (little) chance of any pesticides in the area.  There were about 100 dead bees, some looked like they had died a while ago and some looked almost alive. Yep, Midwest...Michigan. Smiley
@danno... What's a solar melter? I'm new to bees, I've only been stung by bees before yesterday!
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tefer2
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 08:58:07 AM »

Noobee, please go to the profile at top of page and ad your town and state. It will help our members answer your questions better.
http://www.beesource.com/files/solmeltr.pdf
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danno
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 11:14:18 AM »

The solar melter that terry sent the plans link to is a nice one.   A simple one can be made with a old cooler or even a bucket if it a hot enough day, a foil pie plate in the bottom to catch the hot dripping wax and a pc of glass to cover it.  Simply wrap the wax in something like cheese cloth, hang in the cooler, cover with glass and place in the sun
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Noobee
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 12:26:08 PM »

That is a nice design, but with only one hive, the bucket sounds good too.
Then what do I do with the wax?
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 12:49:17 PM »

Sell it, trade it for foundation, or make something (candles, lip balm, bow string wax) out of it.
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duck
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 08:19:33 PM »

furniture polish.. real nice.
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Noobee
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« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 09:10:56 PM »

Thanks for all if the advice!!  I want to keep bees now!
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Noobee
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 09:12:54 PM »

One more question...the honey has a slightly bitter after taste.  Why would that happen?
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Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 09:28:13 PM »

That bitter taste could be bad. If you box it all up and send it too me I will test it for you. Wink
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Noobee
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 09:34:14 PM »

Ha! Well sounds like its ok then!  I have no idea what im doing, just found it while chopping firewood. I tried not to get a lot of bees-bee guts into it, but the more I read it seems like most of my honey came from brood comb so maybe there is!
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AllenF
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« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 09:46:28 PM »

Where are you located at?
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 12:23:45 AM »

You don't even need a styrofoam cooler, just a plate of glass and some cardboard.  Put some insulation around the outside, I've even used more cardboard.

Beeswax melts at 146°F (63°C), so you don't need a lot of sun.  On a good sunny, dry day, it will easily get around 225°F (107°C).  You don't need to get it hotter than that, the wax will degrade.
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"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.
Maryland Beekeeper
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2013, 12:26:44 AM »

If you add sugar to taste you will not regret it.
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