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Candied honey from last summer harvest

I have eighteen litres from last summers harvest with candied honey settled in the bottom of the bucket.I have warmed the honey in a disused refrigerator with a 15watt incandescent light globe installed. The honey has thinned and has been stiired through the week. should I seive the remainder crystals and discard?

if you warm it long enough with regular sessions of stirring it then it will all turn back to pourable honey. Even when your sure all the crystals have gone an extra day of warming will delay it turning again.
Cheers Stan

Thanks Peter, I’ll be a little more patient.

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usually if you keep the warmer around 40C and stir occasionally the honey will eventually liquefy. But sometimes some of the crystals are very resistant to melting. In such a case you certainly could strain the honey to separate them. Then you can melt them separately- even on the stove in a double boiler- and use that honey for cooking or something else. If you leave some crystals in honey then it will candy again quite quickly if the weather is cold.

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I’ve just put 3 8oz jars of candied honey out on an open feeding station 3 days ago and it’s almost all gone.

My bees seem to break it down like dry granulated sugar so maybe feed the granulated honey back to the bees :+1:

HappyHiBee, feeding honey to bees is illegal in Australia is, so not an option for Stan.


Here in Queensland it is not illegal to feed honey to bees. But there are a few stipulations that you should/must observe.
Only feed honey that you know is from disease free hives.
Do not use external feeders.

When I am cleaning stickies I always do so by placing them back into a super for a day or so rather than leave them outside the hive. Technically this is still feeding the bees. The same goes when bees are cleaning up sticky wax after harvesting although I take the view that this is OK…

Like @beestings I do “recycle” some of last years crystallised honey as a winter feed. When I do this I keep a close eye on the super frames so I don’t over feed them and increase the tendency to swarm.

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Thank you Gentlemen for your replies.
I ended up using the double boiler method, two litres at a time to clear the candy.
Then seived the warmed thin honey then returned and remaining crystals to the pot until all was clarified.
I’ll keep the bulk lot warm from now on.

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To prevent my pails of honey crystallizing I sit them on a ‘dog electric blanket’ which on the higher setting works great. It only keeps it warm but honey pails on the electric blanket don’t candy and those in the same room at home do. I bought the blanket on EBay for $25 from memory.

felmo, yes the QLD Biosecurity Act is scant compared the NSW. The NSW Act is very specific on bee management. Unfortunately, with AFB the only way to know it’s not present is to have the honey tested. Using the barrier system to minimise contamination between hives is a more practical solution. That would mean putting the stickies or crystallised frames back in the original hive or one of the group of hives within the barrier. Backyard apiaries of a few hives would be one group.

Another possibility for crystallised honey ts to grind it in a mortar and pestle to make the crystals very fine. This can then be your starter for creamed honey.

having seen robbing and fighting set off- and given the risk of spreading disease- I never open feed bees at all. It’s just not worth the risks if you ask me. As others have noted it is also illegal in many places. If I was going to feed honey back to bees I would feed it to the bees it came from and I would use an internal feeder. If you are going to open feed be particularly careful when there is a dearth of nectar around as it can really set off a robbing situation.


You are saying right. I have also this blanket for $25 from Ebay. I am happy to have this blanket. Its worth to the money.

A similar theme to above - I drained uncapped honey from the flow hive with the intention of feeding it back to the bees if needed. Since then it has crystalised :thinking:
I’d like to feed some back to the bees. If I scooped it out (ice cream style) could I feed it back to them in this (blob) form inside the hive?

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Dilute it by 50% and put it in an in-hive feeder of some sort.


You could do as @chau06 says, and dilute it with water. That would make excellent Spring feed in the next month or two. If you want to use it now as winter feed, you could scoop it out onto a paper plate, and put that on top of the crown board/inner cover, assuming that the hole is open in the cover. Don’t pile it up too high, because even crystallized honey will level out a bit, and you don’t want it overflowing the plate. :wink:

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Thank you both! I suppose I could do scrapings of honey rather than a giant blob. I’ve got plenty so I’ll feed some now and dilute in spring :+1:


You have the concept. Sounds like a good plan!