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Author Topic: What is the source of this honey?  (Read 161 times)

Offline CoolBees

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What is the source of this honey?
« on: April 30, 2021, 03:48:58 pm »
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Extracted honey from 2 locations yesterday. The honey from 1 location was very stringy. Long strings of honey connected to the extractor walls & back to the frames. Probably 20% of the honey would not release from the comb. It didn't want to flow thru the screens very much either (course screen, then 400 micron, then 200 micron). It didn't want to release from the cappings.

The honey is light in color, and has the consistency of thick corn syrup. Lightly sweet - but very "rich" in flavor.

The wax was fresh drawn and pure white - but dry and a little brittle.

I harvested from this hive 1 month ago. The honey was "normal" then. So this is "new" honey.

Extraction temp was 82 degrees. Extractor is a manual 3/6.

The hive this honey came from, is 6 boxes strong. It's a "survivor" hive that is quiet, peaceful, and never been treated. The queen is 2 yrs old. The hive is packed with bees. I've harvest several times from this hive - and haven't seen a honey like this before.

I wondering what the source of this honey is. Palm maybe? I've never experienced a honey with this thick, stringy, consistency. As I looked around that neighborhood, I see sources of nectar that I'm familiar with - but clearly the girls found a new source. I extracted 55 lbs of this stuff, leaving 10 or more lbs in the comb, that wouldn't come out.

Anyone have any thoughts/experience like this?
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 08:59:06 pm »
Allen,
Can you check the moisture content of that honey. I?m betting it is below 15%.
I am pretty sure it is not palm. The bees have a hard time getting palm below 18.5%
Usually it is very watery.
Jim Altmiller

Offline CoolBees

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 01:50:06 am »
Thanks for the answer Jim.

Unfortunately I don't know how to check moisture content ... I've heard to use a refractometer. Is it s special one just for honey? Or can any refractometer be used? (I have a normal one at work).

If the moisture content is low, can moisture be added?
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Offline Beelab

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 04:04:37 am »
I?ve never heard of anyone adding moisture to honey. I would be rather proud of its thickness.
It?s difficult in the rainy season here to get honey much below 17%. Even my extraction room is humid. Turning on the air con on dehumidifier, cools it down too much for smooth extraction.

When packing honey, the lids must go on within minutes. Honey is hydroscopic and just absorbs the water from the air very quickly.

Leave the lid off a jar overnight, next day you have honey water.

If you want your honey more liquid, just steam up your room and leave the lid off the honey bucket. Or leave it open on the verandah on a rainy day. With a net over it, so no insects can get in.

Else, I wonder if you have thixothropic honey, which we get here from some leptospermum varieties, such as manuka.
This will start to flow when it gets agitated. It?s like jelly in a resting state.
There may be other plants that make thixothropic honey that I?m not familiar with.

Online Acebird

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 09:39:22 am »
200 micron is quite fine for high viscosity honey with out heating.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline jimineycricket

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 11:16:23 am »
Are you in an area with alfalfa?
jimmy

Offline CoolBees

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2021, 11:29:26 am »
.... I would be rather proud of its thickness. , ...

Thank you.

... Honey is hydroscopic and just absorbs the water from the air very quickly.

Leave the lid off a jar overnight, next day you have honey water.

If you want your honey more liquid, just steam up your room and leave the lid off the honey bucket. Or leave it open on the verandah on a rainy day. With a net over it, so no insects can get in. ...

It's pretty dry here for the most part. With "normal" honey I fight to keep moisture in the honey as it is, now that you mention it. I'm always in a hurry - after extraction, straining thru the first double screen, and then the 2nd single screen, my honey is generally drying out and getting slow-to-flow for bottling. I've found I can't wait until the next day to finish bottling, or the honey won't flow at all. Quite the opposite problem that you have.

Good advice overall. Thanks.

.... . Else, I wonder if you have thixothropic honey, ...

I dunno. Guess I'll have to study more.
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Offline CoolBees

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 11:31:52 am »
Are you in an area with alfalfa?

No. I don't have any agriculture around - its just neighborhoods and wild flowers. This honey came from a hive located closer to the urban setting than my home apiary.
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: What is the source of this honey?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2021, 04:46:59 am »
Thanks for the answer Jim.

Unfortunately I don't know how to check moisture content ... I've heard to use a refractometer. Is it s special one just for honey? Or can any refractometer be used? (I have a normal one at work).

If the moisture content is low, can moisture be added?
Check the range of the refractometer. If it works in the 12 to 20% range then you can use it.
The other question was answered.
Jim Altmiller