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I've been keeping this blog for nine years and now there are over 1200 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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Friday, July 09, 2010

Doing the Bees' Job for Them

When I first harvested the fully capped but too full of moisture honey, I posted on Beemaster and asked Cindy Bee by phone what I should do. Both places gave me the same advice - try to remove some of the moisture myself. So I put the honey for about a week on top of my dehumidifier. But the dehumidifier is in the basement and has to be emptied and started up again about three times a day.

At first the honey seemed to be thickening, but over the Fourth of July, I went to N Georgia and left the honey on top of the dehumidifier. I'm sure after the first day, the dehumidifier was full and so the honey sat in my humid basement for three days.

When I returned, the refractometer read even higher - a moisture reading of almost 22! Horrors!

 However, on my kitchen counter, the cappings were sitting in the filter part of the honey bucket, on top of the upturned top of the bucket where they had sat for the same amount of time. Honey had continued to filter out and was pooled around the edges of the top. I put a drop of that honey onto the refractometer and lo and behold, the moisture level was 18.2. So it is much drier in my den/kitchen than in my humid basement, even with the A/C left on 85 for all the days I was gone.

So I moved the honey upstairs to my den. Here it sits, under a constantly running ceiling fan and right beside the air conditioning outlet (see it close to the baseboard?). In one day the honey is below 20.2.



I did discover that I need to stir the honey about once a day. Otherwise the surface of the honey is less moist but the same amount of moisture remains in the lower levels of the bucket. I also couldn't stand the idea of uncovered honey so I put this cheesecloth over it and held it to the bucket with a rubber band.



At best I get honey that can be bottled. At worst I make mead or freeze this and feed it back to the bees in a baggie feeder in the fall.
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