Honey Question

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chemicalmaker
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:04 am

Honey Question

Post by chemicalmaker » Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:56 pm

New to bee keeping this year. Wondering if sugar water honey is the same color-brown as regular honey. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Honey Question

Post by Jacobs » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:19 pm

Pure sugar water "honey" is clear. Sugar water "honey" mixed with real nectar honey may be darker. The best practice is not to sell (or give away) "honey" from frames that were on the hive when sugar water was fed to the bees. I never want to run the risk of having this mixture in anything that goes out to the public. That being said, if you can't resist, I don't see anything wrong with taking a little of the mixture for personal use. It may not be as flavorful as pure honey, but it won't kill you.

Gary134
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:28 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Honey Question

Post by Gary134 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 2:05 pm

I have 10 gallons of 1st year sugar honey that I think for the most part is 50/50 due to its color and smell. The result of continuous feeding of my new hives. I understand not to sale this etc.
Can I feed this back to my hives it came out of? If so, should I thin it with boiled water, ratio to do this ? Or just feed back to the bees full strength?
I have read several pros and cons to doing this.
Thanks in advance for any guidance.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Honey Question

Post by Jacobs » Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:32 pm

The main reason for not feeding "honey" to bees is not knowing whether the source hive had American Foul Brood. The AFB spores can be in honey and can live for decades. I regularly thin honey from my hives and put it in an external feeder at the back of my yard as a gauge of whether there is nectar available for the bees or whether they show serious interest in the feeder. I am mixing 6 ounces of honey into a half gallon jar with water. Given the lack of nectar now, the bees are coming to it steadily. If a nectar flow starts, the bees show little interest in the feeder and the contents go bad fairly quickly. If I were seriously trying to feed it back to the bees, I would use a larger amount of honey in the water and put it in top feeders on the hives I was feeding.

If I have frames that may have sugar water "honey" in them, I generally do not extract them, but put them on light hives going into winter as a food source. These days, these frames come from hives I have been feeding sugar water to get new comb drawn.

Gary134
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:28 pm
Location: Randleman

Re: Honey Question

Post by Gary134 » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:14 pm

Thanks for the info, I am assuming that you don’t see any issues with it since it all came from my two hives.
I have another 20 super frames in the freezer for food if needed this winter,I don’t think I will need it the but it’s there for emergency.
I am 1st year keeper so I am very cautious on my bee issues right now.
The main reason I extracted it was for comb for the 1st flow next year. I put it back on the hives they cleaned it up and have drawn it out nicely. I pulled the frames and put them in the freezer to kill what possibly may lurking on it.

Jacobs
Guard bee
Posts: 1296
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Honey Question

Post by Jacobs » Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:18 am

You are correct--honey from unknown sources carries some risk. Honey from known AFB infected hives stays in frames in the burning pit so that bees from healthy hives cannot get to it after all equipment is burned and gets covered with soil. It sounds like you have a good plan for next season. Now it is a matter of keeping an eye on mite counts and doing what is necessary to have healthy, strong hives going into winter.

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