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White solids in honey

Can anyone tell me what the solids are in this picture?

Hi, there here is no photo in the post. Try searching for instructions on how to post pictures. At a guess I would say they might be parts of the wax capping but we really need the picture to be sure.


When you want to post a picture the 7th icon from the left in the box is an arrow up, click on it and find the photo by browsing till you find the one you want explained.
Also some info of how you extracted the honey, by a hot knife and centrifuge extractor but no filtering, for example or a Flow Hive. All the info you can give is a help.

Nicolas, I’m interested to know what it is too. I think you’ll need to pull the frame and scoop out a cell to see what it is. Also check the water percentage and how much of the frame is capped. Maybe even look at it under microscope. Could be candying honey. Do you know the nectar source at the time? If they don’t get bigger I guess it wouldn’t be candying, but if it does, Flow harvesting could be problematic. Sorry no answers, just throwing some ideas out there.

Thanks for the photo Nick, previously I was thinking it might have been wax cappings, but looking at the photo they all seem to be about the same size and circular in shape.
I agree with @aussiemike that a microscope is needed. My first though would be the honey is crystallizing.
Not having a microscope I would extract the frame and gather as many of the partials as you can in a glass jar and warm it in some way, a microwave for example in short bursts, and if the ‘unknowns’ disappear then I would assume the honey was crystallizing. You could then feed the honey back to the bees.
How about filling in your location in your profile so that we can get some idea of your climate at your location, that would be a help. I look forward to an update and what you have figured out it is.

definitely the honey has started to crystallize. I saw identical white balls in a flow super I left on over winter. I was still able to harvest the honey as it flowed out with those crystals. I caught them in a strainer and confirmed that that’s what they were (by eating them!)

However: I have some other flow frames I removed from a hive and left for a few months (stupidly) the honey has now crystallized completely and won’t flow out. I am still trying to figure out what to do to get it out.


Hey Jack, You could buy one of those translucent white storage tubs with a lid and can be moved about on rollers in the base. Stack the flow frames in it and close it up and put it in the sun for maybe 20 minute periods till you can open the cells and the honey flows out. I’m thinking with the warmer weather just 20 minutes might do the trick in converting the crystals back to honey…

The goodness enzyme will be gone when the heat exceeds 38C.

But the flow frames will then be able to be used again, if the honey can be fed back to the bees it is a win all round.
What would you recommend to clear the crystallized honey without heating it.

Is it normally fed back to the hive after you decap it?

You missed the thread I fear, Jack has Flow frames that is full of crystallized honey which by opening the cells, if in fact that can be done, the honey is solid, so how should he get the solid honey out of the flow frames?

I haven’t missed the point Peter, if they honey stuck in either normal or flow frames, it is most likely impossible to spin out, except crushing but not with plastic flow frames right? You either feed back to the hive or use it as exhibition?

Well yes, flow frames are not normally decapped or put in a centrifuge extractor and crushing obviously is not an option, Jack wants to be able to reuse the Flow frames that at the moment is packed with solid crystallized honey. My advise is to clear the problem is heat but you seem to not approve of that option.

Alan Thomson (can’t tag him here) experienced a similar issue last year with crystalised honey in the flow frames and he did feed back to the hive then the bees remixed it, eventually it flown out. You can confirm if it worked for him?

Unfortunately I don’t know Alan, unless by his tag. I am sure with Jack’s knowledge he will have considered the direct feeding back to the hive option.
I have to stick to warming the frames, as in not to overheating them, as his best option to get the Flow Frames back into service. The 38C I would regard as pretty darn hot to bring honey back to a fluid state.

Could choose to disassemble the frame, squeegee off the honey between finger and thumb, wash and reassemble. Tedious and messy, but preserves the honey enzymes. Did I mention tedious and messy? Very messy. Keep a drink handy with straw.

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A good one Mike, but just one drink might not cut it. but yes that is an option if you have the time to kill.
By the way how have you found the brood minder and anything you can say it should have but doesn’t??
Bet your glad to be up at the Heights and not in Richmond with the heat and humidity, Summer there was way to much for me. I have a cooler climate in Summer up here.
Cheers Mike

I actually put the frames in my car for a day to warm them but it wasnt sufficient to melt the crystals. I think if I do it now I’ve cracked them I’ll lose a lot of honey to leaks. I have considered feeding them to bees- but worry setting off robbing if I do it in the open- and don’t have a hive that needs that much extra honey right now. I certainly can’t be bothered disassembling them :slight_smile: I’ll figure it out- not overly worried. The honey is actually dripping out- but at around 1 drop an hour…

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Crystalized honey makes excellent cut comb honey.

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Especially when it is in a Flow frame??? :rofl: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :joy: :thinking: