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Runny honey, can I dehydrate it without a dehydrator?

 
Janet Murdock
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While waiting for our hives to mature we purchased 5 quarts of honey along with others in a group purchase.  We were all informed this morning that the honey we picked up is too runny and we need to dehydrate it.   I hate to buy a dehydrator for 5 quarts of honey.   They suggested just taking the lids off and leaving in a hot room for 5 days.  Will this really work?  I hate for it to ferment on us.  The last group honey purchase we made was almost black and tasted like molasses.  I give, lol.
 
David Livingston
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Any open honey will attract bees and other interested party's( ants wasps bear that sort of thing )  From up to 5 miles away so drying by putting it in a warm place with the lid off may not be the best idea . Find a better person to buy your honey from frankly . The idea that a reputable bee keeper would sell such honey with such advice puzzles me .
 
Anne Miller
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Bees don't make runny honey.  Sounds like these group purchases were 1) almost black = old honey 2) runny honey = a by product from washing the combs and the honey extractor.

If you have an oven with a pilot light you could put the open jars in the oven or turn your oven on the lowest setting to preheat then turn the oven off and put the open jars in the oven with the door closed or just put the open jars in the oven with the door closed as this would not allow then to attract bugs.

Another option would be to store the jars in your refrigerator that way they will not ferment.

 
Judith Browning
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I thought that the dehydration part was something the bees did before capping the comb...maybe the bee keeper harvested too early? ...before it was all capped?
 
David Livingston
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or maybe something occidentally got added
Some honeys are quite liquid naturally whilst others are pretty solid ( heather for example or borage)
but this sounds a mite ....suspicious
 
Miranda Converse
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Judith Browning wrote:I thought that the dehydration part was something the bees did before capping the comb...maybe the bee keeper harvested too early? ...before it was all capped?


This is true, once the honey is done dehydrating they cap it immediately. There is a small allowable amount of uncapped honey that is fine but if you process frames with too much uncapped honey, there will be too much moisture and it will go bad.

Honey is also hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water. So if you leave it out in the open, it will actually draw in moisture instead of releasing it. Your best bet is to freeze it in small jars and just take out what you will use within a short amount of time.  Or, you can just make a batch of mead and use it all at once

Since you already have your own hives, you could probably get away with just taking small amounts from them if it's just for your personal use. Instead of taking a whole box, you could take a single frame of (CAPPED) honey at a time...

 
Janet Murdock
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Thank you so much for your responses.  I think we will try the oven trick.  After asking more questions we have learned that people have had very good honey from this beekeeper in the past.  He said the bees appeared to have added honey after he tested the moisture content on a few frames but thought it wasn't enough to raise the moisture as much as it did.   I guess I will chalk this up to a good learning experience for us as new beekeepers.  We weren't even aware this could be a problem, we thought capped honey was good to go.   We have much to learn, but happy to do it.   Thanks again.
 
Michael Cox
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The viscosity of honey can vary tremendously. Our spring oilseed rape honey can set like concrete, the summer lime honey is runny, light and delicate but the autumn honey is often very thick and dark. It depends a lot on the flowers being foraged. "Old honey" will not necessarily be dark - it should be fairly stable colour and taste wise.
 
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