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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 17th year of beekeeping in April 2022. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a
Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Bee By-Product

This is not going to be my year for honey. The honey I harvested for the movie on honey harvest that Gina and I made on Sunday was very thin. I was worried about how runny it was - it was all from fully capped frames - so I put a drop in my refractometer. I didn't like what I read on the refractometer so I tried another drop and another and another. All read the same: 20.2. Honey with a higher percentage of moisture than 18.6 is likely to ferment and is substandard honey (to quote Cindy Bee). So I am without a good crop since that was my only possible box to harvest.

Cindy and the people on the Beemaster forum suggested that I put it with the dehumidifier and maybe that would dry it out some. I am not optimistic although it has been on top of the dehumidifier all day.

Of course, maybe I'll learn to make mead and use this thin honey for a new project!

The gift the bees have given me this year is a lot of cucumbers. The cucumbers in my garden are all gorgeous and perfectly straight. None of those poorly pollinated crooked cucumbers are to be found in my garden with these great bees around.

So tonight for the second time this June, I made pickles.  I made a second recipe of sweet pickle relish because it's so great to have around when you want to make tuna salad.  I also made four pints of bread and butter pickles.

Even though I will probably go honey-less this year, I will thank my bees each time I eat tuna salad!
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  1. This is a really good article.

  2. Linda:
    Sorry to hear you have such a meager honey harvest. We in the North-east (NJ) are having a bumper honey crop this year. Perhaps it is because we have dry sunny days and when it rains it usually come late in the evening or at night.

    Heard you on the Gardening Show. Love your accent.

    Love your blog and please keep writing!

    Ban (NJ-Montclair)

  3. Mead is a great idea. The already wet honey would be perfect for it. I have a hard time with mead because you have to wait for many months to age it, and I always want to try it before it has aged.

  4. Anonymous11:59 AM

    way to look at the positives, linda! i like your approach! when bees give you cucumbers..... MAKE PICKLES!!!!! ;)


  5. Have you considered heating the honey before bottling it? It will prevent it from fermenting. Heating it reduces the nutritional content, but something is better than nothing.

  6. Great idea. You are the perfect example of turning lemons to lemonade!
    Love your blog.

  7. Anonymous3:46 AM

    I have no idea how old this post is, but if it's not too late; here is a thought: If you have a cold store for your frames the honey won't ferment and you could leave the honey in the frames and use these to feed back to the bees.


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