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Author Topic: Runny? Honey  (Read 4949 times)

Offline KellyInNE

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Runny? Honey
« on: October 03, 2006, 05:34:45 PM »
Well, I noticed yesterday that some honey I had extracted, all from the same hive, was 'slightly' runnier then that of my other bees.  It also is of lighter color, could it just be a different type of honey?  Or does this 'runniness' signify that one way or another uncured honey and/or water made its way into it?  If it is water/uncured honey, how long until it ferments?  Can it be kept in the refrigerator or freezer?  
Thanks for any thoughts,
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Offline Michael Bush

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Runny? Honey
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2006, 07:34:39 PM »
>could it just be a different type of honey?

Some types of honey are thicker, but usually it's a sign of more water content.

> Or does this 'runniness' signify that one way or another uncured honey and/or water made its way into it?

Possibly.  Was it capped?  Did it set out?  Was it humid when you were robbing/extracting etc.

> If it is water/uncured honey, how long until it ferments?

That depends on how warm it is, how watery it is, and how much yeast is already in it.  It varies GREATLY.

> Can it be kept in the refrigerator or freezer?

Sure.

>Thanks for any thoughts

See if you can borrow a refractometer and find out for sure what the moisture content is.  If it's wet, then you can put it in a small closet with a dehumidifier and dry it out.  Or even a closet with a light bulb (for heat) and a fan) to help pick up the moisture.
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Offline Mici

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Runny? Honey
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2006, 07:37:40 PM »
i found out that temperature is the main thing. when i was extracting it, i was thinking like "omg, what a thick and lazy honey", well i was in a room with temp around 15-20 Celzius, now....it's like a bit thicker water :lol: although it was capped.

Offline KellyInNE

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Runny? Honey
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2006, 10:25:19 PM »
Most of the honey was capped, there was a small amount that wasn't capped and look uncured, so I extracted this out first and drained it out before uncapping the rest.  I extracted the same day as removing from the hives, it wasn't very warm or humid.  That was over a week ago, it's stored in the same place as the rest of the honey, and still has the slightly thin consistency in comparison.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Runny? Honey
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2006, 10:47:42 PM »
When extracting honey it is, IMO, best to keep the temperature of the extracting room around 80 F as the honey flows freely at that temperature.  Runny honey usually indicates green (high water content) honey which will drag down the quality of the honey it not extracted seperately.  I've tried to make it a practice to extract the frames that are mostly uncapped last and then use it to feed back to the bees.
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Offline mizkidmas

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2007, 12:22:04 PM »
I plan to harvest some honey to give to friends and neighbors but recently a co-worker said she would like to sell some honey of mine in her shop (country store). It gets me to thinking about ?possible dangers from fermented honey and care needed in regard to mold on comb, water content, etc...in order to have honey fit for selling. I am not an expert and would like some tips anyone may have in regard to refractometers and the NEED for them (or not).
How much water content does capped honey generally have? I was told(read) that 18% and under for water content limits fermentation/spoiling....
In general would you say that capped honey is perfectly fit for selling?
I dont' want to be sued for making someone sick with 'bad' honey.
What type of of extractor would you say would best suit someone with say 4 or 5 hives economically speaking?
Any and all pointers,books,blog links and information is appreciated. :)thanks!
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Offline Mici

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2007, 01:23:22 PM »
i am no expert but...i think little people own a refractometer. with beekeping you should stick to KISS-keep it simple stupid. refractometer in my opinion is a waste of money.
capped honey..well i think you won't find more appropriate honey. i mean..capped honey is rippen honey.
honey won't ferment quickly very fast, to be honest, i have never heard of fermented honey on a "sellers shelf"
economic extractor.-...3 frame extractor should serve you fine
oh, just make sure that the honey you extract is fully capped! although sometimes, when the flow is too strong, bees will cap honey, and uncap it later to rip it. but i think this happens too rearly to be a problem

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2007, 02:40:09 PM »
There is no doubt a refractometer would be useful.  Probably the more humid your environment the more useful it would be.  I've always lived in a fairly dry climate, and I've never owned one.
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Offline Mici

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2007, 03:27:08 PM »
There is no doubt a refractometer would be useful.  Probably the more humid your environment the more useful it would be.  I've always lived in a fairly dry climate, and I've never owned one.


ok, but what do you do when you found out the honey is to moist? or should i say, what CAN you do?

when i said, it would probably be a waste of money...i don't know anyone that owns one.

Offline MrILoveTheAnts

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2007, 03:47:53 PM »
This happened to my hives this year. What happened was I turned our bird's bath into a sugar water dispenser to feed all my hives. The water made the honey more lose and free flowing in the hive.

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2007, 03:48:24 PM »
You can put boxes of frames in a room with a fan and dehumidifier and it will bring the moisture content down. :)

Offline buzzbeejr

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2007, 04:03:33 PM »
that's what i have heard to buzzbee.
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Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2007, 04:06:22 PM »
This happened to my hives this year. What happened was I turned our bird's bath into a sugar water dispenser to feed all my hives. The water made the honey more lose and free flowing in the hive.
Perhaps you shouldn't feed sugar water when there is a flow on. Wouldn't you rather have real honey over sugar water honey?
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2007, 04:14:54 PM »
The first thing you can do is use the refractometer BEFORE you extract.  That way what you do is leave it for the bees.  If you use it AFTER you extract (the wrong time actually) then you would have to create a dry climate (a closet with a dehumidifier) and some air circulation to try to bring it down.  OR you mix it with some honey that is dry enough to bring down the water content enough to prevent fermentation.
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Offline Mici

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2007, 06:12:43 PM »
but....once the honey is capped-rippened? do they still "dry" it-rip it? i think not? so, testing before extracting is...nonsense?
so...extracting fully capped honey is the fail-safe method? 
or am i wrong? and the thing i mentioned before happens more often?-when bees cap it because of such a strong flow and uncap it later to rip it?

Offline mizkidmas

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2007, 06:58:00 PM »
OK. So I think the point is...if it's capped, its fit for human consumption and don't worry about anything else. :?
I do have some frames of capped honey that have a small amount of mold on them from condensation that dripped from inner cover. Do you forsee this being a problem with the possibility of any of it getting into the honey when I uncap? Or should I not bother with it and give it back to the bees?
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Offline MrILoveTheAnts

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2007, 07:01:59 PM »
This happened to my hives this year. What happened was I turned our bird's bath into a sugar water dispenser to feed all my hives. The water made the honey more lose and free flowing in the hive.
Perhaps you shouldn't feed sugar water when there is a flow on. Wouldn't you rather have real honey over sugar water honey?

I was under the belief that the bees would use the carbohydrate diet to produce more wax so it sounded like a good idea for my little hives to build comb faster. Looks like I'll have to buy a feeder this year.

Offline Mici

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Re: Runny? Honey
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2007, 07:09:38 PM »
mizkidmas, i think that's the deal yes, but, i can't say for 100% sure, i'm lerning like you do. but i still think that generally speaking it is to.

don't know about the moldy frame. maybe you oughta give it back to bees, or if you make a split or something? if it's from winter, and you winter feeded the hive, it could be sugar/honey in it, right...

MrIloveTheAnts
yes, they definetly builded more wax, since they felt like they're having an ongowing flow all the time, but also, they stored a big portion of it, making your honey "fake" so to speak. bees should not be fed when not needed, and bees need to be fed only on 3 occasions.1 if they're hungry 2 if they're starving 3 if they're running low on stores.

 

anything