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Honey extracting in high humidity

I live in Florida and am going to extract this weekend. I’m not really set up to do it indoors, so my question is this: How long does it take to empty a frame? The humidity will be 75%-79%. How long do I have before my honey begins to take on moisture?

It will depend on the honey viscosity, which is dependent both on ripeness and on what nectar has been foraged. That means an accurate time is not possible to predict. Having said that, between 2 and 4 hours is normal. Some have left frames draining overnight, but I don’t like to that with the possums, skunks and raccoons in our neighborhood! :wink:

Last year, about 60% of my harvest emptied in about 2 hours, but it took another 2 hours to get the remaining quart out of each frame. It drains faster on a warm day, so starting late morning and letting it drain into mid-afternoon seemed to be optimal.

Not really a concern at all. People who extract conventionally often have honey exposed to the atmosphere for a few days. It isn’t that hygroscopic, so you will be fine. :blush:


As dawn says- it really can vary greatly. This season I had some very thick honey- 15% water content. It took hours and hours to drain out. The vast majority comes out in the first few hours - but a slow, drip, drip, drip after that which seams to go on forever. Thinner honey can come out in less than an hour.

If you use a good set up with tubes and bucket- you can leave it out overnight to get every last drop (assuming no raccoons etc).

Jack makes a good point, I only every harvest at night and leave the bucket with tea-towel over the top and then retrieve the bucket just before bed. Bees and most insects don’t fly at night so robbing is not an issue, additionally it is cooler and less humid…


But you don’t have raccoons and skunks, which are active at night in the US… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Nope, only bunyips and drop-bears…



Check this out if you haven’t already. Talk of capped honey at 20 % etc.

Also, according to the Australian Beekeeping Guide by Goodman and Kaczynski "honey will not ferment when the moisture level remains
below 17.1%. Honey with a moisture content more than
18% may be at risk of fermentation, but this depends on the
number of yeast organisms present. "

I actually once saw a Koala jump from one tree to another- I was very surprised at its grace and agility. I think it jumped around 3 meters. I had no idea they could do that until I saw it. Usually they look so sedate and lethargic.


I really have a thing about fearing those Drop Bears, one second having a relaxing walk in the bush and not noticing up in the tree a drop bear ready to attack, leaping onto your back, digging his claws in and biting into the back of the neck. Those fangs can bite deep and hard.
Sure, I know they are protected because we have nearly eradicated them but these politicians are in a safe area in Canberra where it is too cold, but it isn’t safe at night up here.
I’d rather tackle a skunk or a racoon at ground level in daylight than a hungry drop bear in the dark…


The last comments should really go into the lounge.
The topic I followed was about humidity.
Stuff off topic is not just wasting time, but I also have to pay for it dearly on our scanty satellite outback connection to read this stuff.
Interesting that those who have been complaining about off topic are the worst offenders. It’s been a bit much off recently.
I love a joke, but even that can relate to the topic please.
Or lounge.

When I extract just one frame, I put a larger freezer bag upside down over my 3l container and just make a small hole for the extraction tube to fit in and even tape that off on a really humid day.
Whereas I believe it’s better to wait for a drier day, I have extracted honey at 16% water content on a rainy day in rainy season.
Just try to seal everything off as well as you can.

Nobody is able to tell you how long it is going to take. It depends on temperature, volume, density of the honey, which depends on ripeness and/or nectar source.
It can be anywhere between 30 minutes and 5 hours.

Never mind drop bears, Water Bears (Tartigrades) can get quite ferocious around my area.

Anyway on the topic of humidity. The best thing is to get the honey out of the frame as quickly as possible, then put a nice airtight lid on the container.

PS. generally speaking for anyone concerned about something going “off topic”, click on flag, then a moderator, Roderick for example will deal with it.

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I also brought up the same issue some time back but was told by some ladies on the forum that they liked it the way it is running. So as new on the forum and nobody agreeing with me I saw their point.
As there is now a minority of two, I think the forum style will continue with humor added and it is still the best site for bee keepers.
Jeff has made a valid point in his comment and maybe this thread should have started in the Lounge also…:thinking:

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i’m sorry to hear that off topic discussions and satellite internet are a bad mix. But unfortunately for you- it’s just the way that humans interact. Discussions go off topic. Even in our own heads we find it hard to maintain a steady line of thought. You’d be better off just accepting that- as you have little hope of changing it.


Sorry, just had a dummy spit after waiting to load 20 minutes and all I saw drop bear stuff.

It’s just Aussie outback Internet that’s way way behind any third world country.
But maybe it makes people aware too to post relevant stuff to a topic, remembering that people outback pay dearly for a scanty connection.

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In the end, I hope we gave some valuable advice the OP can put into practice.

I use my mobile phone as a modem and have extremely fast connection always and instantly for $10 a month per 10 G/b. Seems you fell for the sales pitch about the satellite connections as the big step forward, which it simply isn’t.
Like you, we all reply to other members by hitting the ‘reply’ button and it is easy to wander off the thread. This is just an example about ‘poor internet connection speeds’ in a thread about ‘honey extracting in high humidity’.
And there goes me adding to an off topic subject.

< is looking up hygroscopic. :grinning::joy: