We harvested a frame yesterday. At first, the honey was all clear but about halfway through small (about 1-2mm)brown fragments began to appear in the honey. Does anyone know what this is? Is it anything to worry about or can we just filter it out? Thanks
Propolis, wax. Its good for you
Check your frames for signs of brood though. Very unlikely if you have a queen excluder on but laying workers in the supper happens so it could be bits of the cocoons.
Itll be propolis cracking off when the cells are split. Leave it or filter it.
I leave mine as its advertised as “unfiltered pure raw honey” its a USP.
Thanks so much! We were hoping that’s what it was. All the best.
Photos please? Just to be sure…
That looks like a bit more than propolis or wax. I’d be definitely checking the frames asap in case it’s brood. If you still have the original plastic QE, there is a possibility, based on personal observations that it could have cracked & opened up enough to let the queen through. Alternatively they can buckle which can also allow the queen through. Also based on personal observations.
Treat it with a matter of urgency if hive beetles are in your area.
Thanks Jeff, we have a metal QE and no hive beetles around either. We tasted it and it tastes and has the consistency of wax so here’s hoping! We’re due another inspection soon so will double check.
Queens can find gaps in metal QEs as well. I found a queen above one a couple of weeks ago. I brought it home so I can find the gap & fill it with Plastibond. It’s sitting on the dining room table right now.
It looks like propolized wax to me. Bees will often put propolis on the wax in the Flow frames if you leave them on over winter, or put them on when it is cold. You could strain it out if you wanted, a fine mesh kitchen strainer works well.
My mentor agrees that is wax coated in propolis, I can’t help but agree also.
Thanks so much Dawn!
Thanks Jeff, we didn’t know about the QE issue which is good to know!
You’re welcome Suzanne. I think it always pays to physically check the flow frames before harvesting the honey, primarily to see what percentage of the honey is capped. During such inspections, it will get picked up if there is any brood in the frames.
In the first instance I observed, the one where the queen got up through the gaps, the owner harvested the honey before the brood was discovered, resulting in a hive beetle slime-out. I managed to rescue the colony, on account they were getting ready to abscond.
In the case where the queen got up through the warped QE, it was a stroke of luck that we discovered the brood in the flow frames before the owner harvested the honey. In that case, the queen got up into the honey super before laying heaps of eggs in the flow frames before returning back down to the brood box to carry on as normal down there. Needless to say, the owner followed my advice & ordered a metal QE.
I had a different call-out where a beekeeper needed help to locate the queen, she found a gap in a metal QE. I was able to find the gap & straighten the wire up, which was slightly bent, creating a gap big enough for the queen to fit through.