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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ugli Honey

Jeff and I harvested three frames of honey from the original Lenox Pointe over the weekend.  I crushed and strained the total of 8 frames that we took on Sunday.  Some of the honey was very strange.

Here's what the cappings looked like.  Instead of individual cells being capped, the bees indulged in this stained glass approach.  The honey was a dark orange.

The frame below is what a whole frame looked like - it's all disorganized and the cappings on all three frames had this modern art look.

Inside the cells some of the honey was crystallized!  The grains of the crystals were large and rough against the roof of my mouth.   The honey tasted a little like apricot with a sharp finish at the last minute.  I've never tasted anything like it.  The moisture level on the refractometer was right at 18.6.

Here's a view of the cut side of one of the combs.  See the thickened crystal?

These bees are all overwintered hives so we didn't feed them this year at all.  I wondered if this were honey that was the result of the bees visiting a hummingbird feeder, but with three full frames (and we left the other five in the super because they weren't capped yet), that would be a lot of sugar syrup.

What nectar could these bees have gathered that would crystallize in the comb?  And we've had very hot weather in Atlanta - about a week of days with temperatures over 100 in the last couple of weeks.

Any ideas?

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  1. Anonymous12:58 PM

    That wax looked to me like wax that had melted and reformed, like a Dali painting. With the heat we've been having, I can believe it.

  2. I am about to harvest soon, and as part of preparations I took some moisture readings. Right about 17.25 percent. We've had several weeks of 95-100 degree temps and I suppose that's helped to drive the moisture way down.

    I too am seeing low moisture and dark orange colors. Can't wait to see what it's like!

    Show Me The Honey Blog

  3. Linda,

    We harvested 10 frames this weekend, very good honey our second batch this year. I'd had a set of frames that cross combed and my attempt to correct it failed and I gave the bees back the comb with nectar. Oddly of the three pieces of comb one piece was whitish not yellow, it melted flat on the cardboard next to the yellow comb unmelted. I think your odd cappings might have melted slightly. I'd find it hard to believe the bees could gather enough from a hummingbird feeder. The yogurt shop in town last year had 100s of bees at the trash can getting wasted yogurt, perhaps something like that might be the cause?

  4. Anonymous1:38 AM

    Wet capping.
    It is is typical for Apis mellifera caucasica honey bee and its crossings.


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