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Author Topic: Has anyone seen this happen?  (Read 1591 times)

Offline tereads

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Has anyone seen this happen?
« on: November 04, 2006, 06:37:36 PM »
This is my first year of beekeeping.  In September I harvested 60 pounds of honey from one of my two hives (the other one produced nothing).  So, I put the supers back on the hive (above the inner cover) so the bees could clean them out and when I went back several days later, lo and behold the bees had begun to rebuild the comb and load it with new honey.
Since it was getting cold I took the supers and uncapped the new honey and took it.  This second crop of honey immediately solidified, but not in a coarse crystalized way.  It's the consistency of butter and in fact looks as if it were honey mixed with butter.  It's almost white.  Have any of you ever seen honey that was "naturally" creamed like this?  It's delicious but I've never read anything about something like this happening.
And another question:  now that we've had several hard frosts and the bees seem to have stopped coming and going should I take my pail feeder off? Or try to keep feeding them a little longer?  If I take off the pail I thought I'd take off the empty super surrounding it and just vent the inner cover with a pencil or twigs.  Is that all right?  I've shimmed an opening between the upper and lower deep.  The mouseguard at the lower entrance doesn't seem like much room for bees to come and go if it warms up and they need to go on a cleansing flight.  I'd appreciate any feedback on any of this.  Thanks
Terry
PS:  I'm in New York, near the Berkshires.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2006, 07:03:03 PM »
I've never experience the event with the honey but putting the supers back on the hive can get the bees to start all over if there is still some type of flow still going on.  It is best to feed the supers back one at a time, one day at a time for cleaning out the honey residue.
As for the latter part of your post, If the hive sufficient stores, which seems to be indicated by the rebuilding of comb in the supers, then why feed unnecessarily.  I'd remove all feeding equipment and wait until early February to feed further. 
Removing the empty box holding the feeder means the bees will have less internal space within the hive to keep warm--it's easier to heat the closet than the whole room.
A small vent at the top of the hive is a good idea for letting out excess moisture that would otherwise condense and freeze inside the hive with the potential of killing the bees. 
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2006, 07:19:24 PM »
>Have any of you ever seen honey that was "naturally" creamed like this?

Yes.  My entire crop last year.  It is delicious.
Michael Bush
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Offline tereads

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 07:28:41 PM »
Thanks for the info.  Michael, you're right, it is delicious.  I didn't want brag, but of course it's the bees not me who get the credit.
Terry

 

Offline Tajha

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2006, 04:47:39 PM »
I'm new to beekeeping, but I've been reading everything I can find lately. Sadly, I don't think I can actually have bees where I am right now, but I plan on trying to start a hive in the future when we move.


Anyway, something I read the other day reminded me of this post. Could this "naturally creamed" honey be royal jelly? I haven't heard anything about bees storing it, but as I said I'm a greenhorn ^.^;

~Angela

Offline abejaruco

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2006, 05:07:43 PM »
<Could this "naturally creamed" honey be royal jelly?>
a)Royal jelly is not delicious. It is really unnice.
b) You only can find RJ in the queen cells. It is not stored.
You can see an example here. (The things with wings are not cherubs, are bees)
« Last Edit: November 06, 2006, 05:16:55 PM by abejaruco »

Offline tereads

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2006, 05:11:33 PM »
Angela --
No, it was capped honey and when I extracted it, it flowed like honey but later it congealed and while delicious and very sweet it just doesn't look like any honey I've ever seen, except creamed honey which I love, but my reading tells me has to be processed with a honey drill or some such thing in order to take on the creamed consistency. 

Offline kathyp

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2006, 05:12:55 PM »
what causes the honey to turn out that way? 
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Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2006, 08:09:21 PM »
You mentioned a feeder pail? Were you feeding the bees at the time of this strange honey storage? And what were you feeding them?
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2006, 08:22:04 PM »
>Could this "naturally creamed" honey be royal jelly?

No.

>I haven't heard anything about bees storing it, but as I said I'm a greenhorn ^.^;

They don't store Royal Jelly.

>what causes the honey to turn out that way?

http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/creamhoney.htm

It depends on the "seed" crystals, the proportion of the sugars (dextrose, sucrose, fructose etc), and the temperature of the honey.

Some sources, such as goldenrod, crystallize quickly.  The more quickly it crystallizes, the smoother and less gritty it is.
Michael Bush
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Offline tereads

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2006, 11:16:29 PM »
jerrymac --
No, I wasn't feeding them at the time.  Just trying to get them to clean out the supers.  Goldenrod seems likely -- it was still in bloom then.
Terry

Offline Rich V

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2006, 11:42:43 PM »
That sounds like good honey to me.

Offline Finsky

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Re: Has anyone seen this happen?
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2006, 11:58:17 PM »
>Have any of you ever seen honey that was "naturally" creamed like this?

Yes.  My entire crop last year.  It is delicious.


Could it be from honey dew from trees?