Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Slightly Slimed Honey  (Read 1261 times)

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Slightly Slimed Honey
« on: September 02, 2023, 11:52:05 am »
I had a super of honey in the garage that I forgot about.  I should have put it in the freezer right away, but I didn't have the room, and things got shuffled around, and it got lost in said shuffle.  I discovered the bin yesterday and unfortunately the hive beetle larvae started to get to it.  Ugh, I feel so terrible about it, it's just such a waste of good honey.  :cry:  Two of the frames weren't fully capped and the honey fermented out and created a mess.  I put the frames in the freezer now, better late than never, I suppose.  The capped frames have some sections that have been beetle-slimed, but some of the honey still looks okay.  Is there anything I can do with honey like this?  I just can't stand the idea of having to throw out an entire super of honey, especially when some of it is still good.             
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Kathyp

  • Global Moderator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 20312
  • Gender: Female
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2023, 12:53:55 pm »
Feed it back later?  If you have frozen it it will kill the SHB and you can use it either for winter feed or in spring.  Don't think I'd try to process and eat it.
Someone really ought to tell them that the world of Ayn Rand?s novel was not meant to be aspirational.

Offline BeeMaster2

  • Administrator
  • Universal Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 13459
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2023, 03:43:53 pm »
Reagan,
You can make mead out of it.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Ben Franklin

Offline animal

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 968
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2023, 04:28:18 pm »
just $.02
I would probably try to harvest some of the slime to use in bait traps for hive beetles.

Then wash off remaining slimy stuff, crush & strain and use it as an excuse to make mead, like beemaster said.

Because I'm a little paranoid of harming people around me, after mixing required amount of water, bring the liquid to a simmer (above 180 but not boiling) for a couple of hours and then finish off with a rolling boil. Yeasts usually start dying about 120, but I couldn't find any specific data on kodamaea ohmeri, the species which causes the slime. After it cools down to warm, add your yeast for fermentation as you usually would.

Kodamaea ohmeri can be a human pathogen, including being able to get into the bloodstream .. so .. it would be prudent to wear rubber gloves while handling frames, especially if you have cuts / abrasions, or any condition that would compromise your immune system.

Infection of healthy humans is very rare, so don?t freak out. The same species of yeast is also present in some cheeses, some beer, and other food products.

Personally, I'd be reluctant to give it back to the bees because apparently, the yeast also makes compounds that act as a bee repellent.

If you're not into alcoholic beverages, you might want to check out a youtube video by Max Miller on a weak, fast version of mead. His channel is "tasting history" ... (and one of my favorite channels)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MAB-VVqjOE
« Last Edit: September 02, 2023, 04:58:58 pm by animal »
Avatar pic by my oldest daughter (ink and watercolor)

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2023, 07:00:26 pm »
Feed it back later?  If you have frozen it it will kill the SHB and you can use it either for winter feed or in spring.  Don't think I'd try to process and eat it.
My concern is that it's fermenting.  I doubt I want that in the hives over the winter, and I'm not sure how much fermented honey it's okay for the bees to eat.  Does anyone know?   

Because I'm a little paranoid of harming people around me, after mixing required amount of water, bring the liquid to a simmer (above 180 but not boiling) for a couple of hours and then finish off with a rolling boil. Yeasts usually start dying about 120, but I couldn't find any specific data on kodamaea ohmeri, the species which causes the slime. After it cools down to warm, add your yeast for fermentation as you usually would.

Kodamaea ohmeri can be a human pathogen, including being able to get into the bloodstream .. so .. it would be prudent to wear rubber gloves while handling frames, especially if you have cuts / abrasions, or any condition that would compromise your immune system.

Infection of healthy humans is very rare, so don?t freak out. The same species of yeast is also present in some cheeses, some beer, and other food products.
I'm not freaked out at all, certainly not enough to wear gloves, since I'm not immunocompromised in any way.  Nor am I freaked out by fermented honey (or other foods) in general.  In our climate, I usually have one or two batches of honey that ferment at least a little bit every season, and if it's still delicious tasting, we just eat it like normal.  If it's gone too far to be good straight up, we just bake or cook with it and my sister uses it to make her goats' herbal dewormer taste good so they take it willingly (goats love fermented stuff).
 
Personally, I'd be reluctant to give it back to the bees because apparently, the yeast also makes compounds that act as a bee repellent.
I have not found this to be the case even slightly.  I've had several major robbing frenzies centered on my garage this past month from me cleaning up beetle-slimed equipment.  I can't seem to keep them off the stuff.  I could easily set the frames out and they'd be clean in a few hours, but again, I'm not sure the bees should eat that much fermented honey, and I don't think it should be in the hives over the winter, because it's not going to store well.   

Reagan,
You can make mead out of it.
Jim Altmiller
Then wash off remaining slimy stuff, crush & strain and use it as an excuse to make mead, like beemaster said.
If you're not into alcoholic beverages, you might want to check out a youtube video by Max Miller on a weak, fast version of mead. His channel is "tasting history" ... (and one of my favorite channels)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MAB-VVqjOE
I'll check out that video.  I don't drink alcohol, but several members of my family do.  Does the beetle honey still taste good in a ferment?  Can you taste that "rotten orange" smell if you use it to make mead?   
       
« Last Edit: September 02, 2023, 07:11:09 pm by The15thMember »
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline animal

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 968
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2023, 10:47:22 pm »
Diffferent yeasts can be very different. Even different strains of the same species can produce remarkably different product. I know very little about this yeast species (only what I read in about an hour), and was suggesting possible ways to minimize it and it?s effects. I do know some about brewing and have bred my own yeasts, but I'm not an expert. Mostly wine and corn mash, but some beers(ginger beer is a favorite) or "home brews" as my grand dad called it.
There was one article that suggested the yeast needed pollen or brood comb to produce all of the aromatics that the bees respond to, fwiw.
The reason for "washing" and added cooking times was to decrease contamination by the undesirable yeast, and kill it off... to avoid its effects and flavors. I have never actually seen "slimed" honey. And was assuming it is more readily dissolved than good honey and could be removed by flushing the comb with water along with wasting some good honey (the slime washing off faster than the honey dissolves).  If this is wrong, someone please correct me.

What I find shocking is if the species of yeast that makes the slime can thrive in the relatively low water content honey and continue to ferment it. I was assuming that it gets additional water from bodies of bee larvae and excretions of the beetle larvae.

When it comes to you describing honey fermenting on the shelf, that still tastes and smells ok ... it also makes me wonder if those jars had higher water content than usual and the yeast responsible may not have been kodamaea ohmeri. Especially if those jars had a layer on top that was "runny" and fermented ... with thick unaffected honey underneath. I've never seen this happen to honey. I've seen it with mold across the top once in my life that I can recall and lots of crystallized stuff, but never fermented.

anyway, not an expert by any stretch of imagination, just saying what I might try, and hoping those that are more knowledgeable will speak up so I can learn before actually facing the same problem.
 :smile:

Maybe beemaster can answer your question about the taste of "beetle honey" after ferment. I was assuming it would affect it, thus the "washing" and cooking.
Avatar pic by my oldest daughter (ink and watercolor)

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2023, 11:18:54 pm »
I have never actually seen "slimed" honey. And was assuming it is more readily dissolved than good honey and could be removed by flushing the comb with water along with wasting some good honey (the slime washing off faster than the honey dissolves).  If this is wrong, someone please correct me.
When we talked about "slimed" honey, the slime isn't a layer on top of the honey, it's a transformation of the honey itself.  We use the term "slimy" because the honey transforms into an EXTREMELY runny consistency and has the feel almost of very thin liquid dish soap.

When it comes to you describing honey fermenting on the shelf, that still tastes and smells ok ... it also makes me wonder if those jars had higher water content than usual and the yeast responsible may not have been kodamaea ohmeri. Especially if those jars had a layer on top that was "runny" and fermented ... with thick unaffected honey underneath. I've never seen this happen to honey. I've seen it with mold across the top once in my life that I can recall and lots of crystallized stuff, but never fermented.

I'm sure it is different yeasts, and I'm also sure it's that the water content is too high, because I've measured it.  :rolleyes:  It also will happen to mixed honeys where one variety crystallizes, and the released water brings the rest of the jar too high.  Fermented honey of this nature, even when it's very fermented, is NOTHING like beetle slimed honey.  It may be thin and alcoholic smelling/tasting, but it's never slimy.

What I find shocking is if the species of yeast that makes the slime can thrive in the relatively low water content honey and continue to ferment it. I was assuming that it gets additional water from bodies of bee larvae and excretions of the beetle larvae.
 
Honey is hydrophilic, so once the beetles tunnel through the wax, opening the comb and exposing the honey to the air outside, the honey will absorb moisture from the air (rapidly, in my climate), and once the moisture level is too high, the yeast can colonize. 

Diffferent yeasts can be very different. Even different strains of the same species can produce remarkably different product. I know very little about this yeast species (only what I read in about an hour), and was suggesting possible ways to minimize it and it?s effects. I do know some about brewing and have bred my own yeasts, but I'm not an expert. Mostly wine and corn mash, but some beers(ginger beer is a favorite) or "home brews" as my grand dad called it.
There was one article that suggested the yeast needed pollen or brood comb to produce all of the aromatics that the bees respond to, fwiw.
The reason for "washing" and added cooking times was to decrease contamination by the undesirable yeast, and kill it off... to avoid its effects and flavors.
Oh, I see what you are getting at.  With the ferments I do, I usually just culture wild yeasts and bacteria (except my water kefir), so I was basically asking if these particular beetle yeast guys are okay/good tasting to culture in a ferment.  Honestly, I'd kind of doubt they are, just by the way the honey smells.  But if you are boiling them off and adding different guys, it doesn't matter anyway.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline animal

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 968
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2023, 11:40:33 pm »
When we talked about "slimed" honey, the slime isn't a layer on top of the honey, it's a transformation of the honey itself.  We use the term "slimy" because the honey transforms into an EXTREMELY runny consistency and has the feel almost of very thin liquid dish soap.

Honey is hydrophilic, so once the beetles tunnel through the wax, opening the comb and exposing the honey to the air outside, the honey will absorb moisture from the air (rapidly, in my climate), and once the moisture level is too high, the yeast can colonize. 
1st para : YUCK ! I pictured capped stuff that hadn't been burrowed through unaffected and areas of good mixed with areas of bad on the open comb. I wonder if there is an accompanied enzymatic reaction from the larvae?

2nd para : hydrophilic .. yeah but dang! that's a lot of water for it to suck up. This triggered my strangeness. I'm gonna set a open jar of honey out on my workbench with a screen over the top and sitting in a pie pan of oil. ... and It's all your fault  :cheesy:
Avatar pic by my oldest daughter (ink and watercolor)

Offline animal

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 968
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2023, 11:52:15 pm »
since you have goats, there's always stir it in with some chops ... ?
Avatar pic by my oldest daughter (ink and watercolor)

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2023, 01:19:46 am »
I pictured capped stuff that hadn't been burrowed through unaffected
This part of your statement is correct, some of the capped honey hasn't been burrowed through, and therefore is fine, maybe half if I'm lucky.  I can tell it's okay because the cappings are still "dry" (they have little air pockets underneath them).

I wonder if there is an accompanied enzymatic reaction from the larvae?
I'm not sure, but I think the yeast inhabit the beetle larvae's gut and then are expelled through their waste.  Unless you are referring to the bee larvae, in which case I don't know, but the beetle larvae don't seem to tunnel through brood comb as much as waxworms do in my experience.

2nd para : hydrophilic .. yeah but dang! that's a lot of water for it to suck up. This triggered my strangeness. I'm gonna set a open jar of honey out on my workbench with a screen over the top and sitting in a pie pan of oil. ... and It's all your fault  :cheesy:
I know, it happens very rapidly.  I'm not sure the little jerks won't drown in a jar of liquid honey, but hey, it's worth a go (I think?).  :grin:

Honestly, the easiest solution would be to just scrape open all the frames and let the bees rob them out.  I've got 9 hives now, and even assuming the worst, that's less than one fermented frame per hive.  I just don't know if that is too much fermented food to be in the hive over the winter.  Does anyone have any experience with fermented honey in a hive over the winter?  How much is too much?
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 8102
  • Gender: Male
  • Just do it
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2023, 09:32:38 am »
I only use the best honey for mead.  Why start off on a sour note?
What I did was scratch out the slimmed honey and burrowed cells and then rinse with a mild spray from a garden hose.  Then set the frames about 20 feet from the hives and let them have it.  This was up north where there were no hives near me.  If you got a close bee yard near you you should put the frames in an active hive.  If the bees don't take it the honey might be fermenting, still has residual smell from the beetles, or you have a flow going on.  Just because the honey is capped does not mean it is good.
We make mistakes and learn.  No point in kicking yourself.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline animal

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 968
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2023, 12:08:30 pm »
I know, it happens very rapidly.  I'm not sure the little jerks won't drown in a jar of liquid honey, but hey, it's worth a go (I think?).  :grin:
The jar thing .. I'm just curious to see how hydrophilic honey is.. known quantity of honey in the bottom, screen over the top to keep out flying pests, oil moat below to keep out ants ... measure how much the honey "grows" in high humidity. I'm constantly doing odd little "experiments" to see an effect real-world. It's a disease. Plus, gotta do little things to irritate the wife every now and then ... firmly believe the way to keep women happy is to give them something to gripe about. :cheesy:

What Ace said makes a lot of sense to me. I'd want to know the taste you're dealing with or hear from someone who has made mead out of it about the taste ... before investing time and effort. Sour notes can be good in some things, but have doubts about it in mead. It's such a light flavor to begin with.
Avatar pic by my oldest daughter (ink and watercolor)

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2023, 12:41:46 pm »
I only use the best honey for mead.  Why start off on a sour note?
What I did was scratch out the slimmed honey and burrowed cells and then rinse with a mild spray from a garden hose.  Then set the frames about 20 feet from the hives and let them have it.  This was up north where there were no hives near me.  If you got a close bee yard near you you should put the frames in an active hive.  If the bees don't take it the honey might be fermenting, still has residual smell from the beetles, or you have a flow going on.  Just because the honey is capped does not mean it is good.
We make mistakes and learn.  No point in kicking yourself.
Thanks, Ace.  I might give that a try.  It just seems like the bees could probably sort it out better than I could, and they certainly won't let a drop of it go to waste. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline cao

  • Super Bee
  • *****
  • Posts: 1671
  • Gender: Male
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2023, 06:57:00 pm »
I have had more experience with slimed frames then i would ever want.  I just set the frames out and let them have at it.  You really can't store it unless you have room in your freezer cause once it starts fermenting it will continue until it uses all the sugar, or the alcohol content gets high enough to kill the yeast.  I let them clean all the honey out of the frames then hose them off a couple times to try to get rid that sickly sweet smell from the slime.  I feel that too many slimed frames in a single hive will draw the beetles to that hive.

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2023, 09:08:36 pm »
I have had more experience with slimed frames then i would ever want.  I just set the frames out and let them have at it.  You really can't store it unless you have room in your freezer cause once it starts fermenting it will continue until it uses all the sugar, or the alcohol content gets high enough to kill the yeast.  I let them clean all the honey out of the frames then hose them off a couple times to try to get rid that sickly sweet smell from the slime.  I feel that too many slimed frames in a single hive will draw the beetles to that hive.
So you have never had any trouble with them eating that fermented honey or with them bringing it back to the hive and storing it?  They don't seem to have any trouble getting it capped or have it leaking in the hive or anything?
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Acebird

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 8102
  • Gender: Male
  • Just do it
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2023, 02:34:48 pm »
Alcohol is not good for any animal especially one so small. Bees are very keen on smell. I don't think they are going to store much. If they didn't they probably never use it.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it

Offline The15thMember

  • Global Moderator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 4357
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
Re: Slightly Slimed Honey
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2023, 03:49:12 pm »
Alcohol is not good for any animal especially one so small. Bees are very keen on smell. I don't think they are going to store much. If they didn't they probably never use it.
Okay then, what I'm going to do is set one or two out at a time, so I don't cause a massive frenzy.  I was thinking about how it's not like the bees would never encounter something like this in nature.  Hives that are taken over by beetles would be robbed out by other colonies, so I'm going to trust that they know what they are doing.  Anything they don't eat, I'll rinse out.  Thanks everyone, I'll let you know how it turns out. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.