How to minimize moisture in honey?

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  • #2323
    Profile photo of tractorman
    tractorman
    Member

    Hi

    I noticed that moisture or water level in honey varies even when collected from the same farm.

    What are the factors that caused moisture to get into honey? How to minimize it?

    Love to hear from experienced bee-keepers out there.

    Bob

    #2324

    As I understand it, the bees control the moisture content. Initially, when the honey is regurgitated from the stomach, it will have a high moisture content, which is reduced by storing in the uncapped cells. The bees will fan the honey cells until moisture content is acceptable for storage and then cap them with wax.

    When honey is harvested, frames with uncapped honey on them should be inspected and not harvested if honey can be shaken out of some of the uncapped cells, as the moisture content in these cells will be too high.

    #2325
    Profile photo of ThePath
    ThePath
    Keymaster

    Welcome to the forum bobson!

    bobh is right, its upto the bees to raise the viscosity of the honey.

    Good tip aswell emptying the uncapped cells of the more “watery” honey first before harvesting. I would still keep this more watery honey though, I like it in my tea!

    Dude


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    #2326
    Profile photo of tractorman
    tractorman
    Member

    Thanks for the quick and informative reply!

    I am asking because honey with high level of moisture tends to ferment faster. This is not good for bottling.

    Well probably I should avoid harvesting frames with a lot of uncapped combs.

    Do you think I should also keep the room dry to prevent the honey from absorbing moisture during the bottling process?

    Thanks.

    #2327

    The secret is to harvest honey at the right moisture content, as it is more difficult to extract later. There are de-humidifiers for honey (different from domestic ones), but a bit costly for home use, also there are refractometers to measure moisture content – also expensive.

    Leaving harvesting as late as possible in the season will give the bees best chance to deliver honey to you with the correct humidity.

    I don’t think that room humidity would adversley affect the honey, or improve it. Do not confuse viscosity with humidity. Here in France we have a lot of Accacia honey which is very light in colour and thin compared with the later season wild flower dark and thicker honey.

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