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cabeasle
02-27-2012, 08:02 PM
I bought some bulk honey from the LHBS, and I just opened it up to find it full of honeycombs and dead bees. I'm not really sure what to do about that. Do I go ahead and ferment it like normal, or do I have to boil this stuff to remove these bits? I hadn't considered this possibility, as all the honey I have purchased up to this point has been clear of any of these bits.... it is a little disconcerting to think of fermenting bees :)

Chevette Girl
02-27-2012, 08:34 PM
Most of the time honey is filtered to remove such impurities but the fact that there's honeycomb and dead bees means you know for sure that this honey was never heated to make it pass more easily through a filter!

I think if I had that honey, I'd dilute it out to whatever must strength I wanted and then run it from one bucket to another through a coarse colander lined with a clean boiled dish towel, that should catch all the bee bits and wax without impeding the flow too much.

However, I think there are others around here who actually have used honey that, um, natural ;D who may have better ideas. The wax won't hurt anything but will eventually have to be skimmed off the must but I don't know if fermenting bees is actually a problem or if it just seems like it would (ick, fermented bees).

Lawpaw
02-27-2012, 09:35 PM
If you are going to ferment on the bees, you better let anyone who drinks it know just in case they have bee allergies.

Sadie Lady
02-27-2012, 09:44 PM
To get the most honey from what you have you need to crush the comb. This is how we extract honey without an extractor. I have 2 five gallon buckets and 2 five gallon paint strainers. Lowes sells strainers in a pack of 2 for about 3 dollars.

Cut one bucket in half (horizontally, you would be cutting the bottom out of the bucket. Cut it about 1/2 to 2/3 way up from the bottom.) Put the strainer over the other bucket, then set the "cut" bucket down into the "whole bucket". You will have two buckets stacked into each other. The cut bucket just serves to hold the strainer in place, because the honey and comb will be heavy.

I'd try to pick out as many bee parts as you can. Now the fun sticky part, start crushing the comb. You can use a big spoon, potato masher whatever works. I have a large bowl and do a little at a time.

When it's the consistency of thick cooked oatmeal pour it into your straining bucket. When all done, put your other paint strainer over the top to keep buggies or anything out of it. It will take several days to drain 1 gallon of honey, Don't know how much you have, but you can use smaller buckets. I've done it with a mason jar and duct taped the strainer in place.

Save your wax for candles or sell it. I'm trying to upload a picture but not working out very well.

Stacey

YogiBearMead726
02-27-2012, 09:52 PM
I'd personally just ferment it, bees and all. :)

skunkboy
02-27-2012, 09:53 PM
Mead : Now with MORE Bee Parts!

;-)

brian92fs
02-27-2012, 10:31 PM
To get the most honey from what you have you need to crush the comb. This is how we extract honey without an extractor. I have 2 five gallon buckets and 2 five gallon paint strainers. Lowes sells strainers in a pack of 2 for about 3 dollars.

Cut one bucket in half (horizontally, you would be cutting the bottom out of the bucket. Cut it about 1/2 to 2/3 way up from the bottom.) Put the strainer over the other bucket, then set the "cut" bucket down into the "whole bucket". You will have two buckets stacked into each other. The cut bucket just serves to hold the strainer in place, because the honey and comb will be heavy.

I'd try to pick out as many bee parts as you can. Now the fun sticky part, start crushing the comb. You can use a big spoon, potato masher whatever works. I have a large bowl and do a little at a time.

When it's the consistency of thick cooked oatmeal pour it into your straining bucket. When all done, put your other paint strainer over the top to keep buggies or anything out of it. It will take several days to drain 1 gallon of honey, Don't know how much you have, but you can use smaller buckets. I've done it with a mason jar and duct taped the strainer in place.

Save your wax for candles or sell it. I'm trying to upload a picture but not working out very well.

Stacey

You can also buy a setup like this from a beekeeping supply house. Here's an example (http://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=page80#!productInfo/9/) from Mann Lake. The Lowes/Home Depot DIY version is probably half the price, but its nice to have options :)

robin850
02-27-2012, 11:10 PM
Another option is to fill a tub with hot water, warm up the buckets of honey until it pours well. Get a clean empty bucket, put a new pair of panty-hose over the bucket, legs in. a little duct tape around the outside lip to hold them in place and pour in your honey.

All the bee parts and wax end up in the "feet" of the panty-hose. Makes it easy to squeeze out the last bits of honey and leave the rest behind.

cheers,

robin850

TheAlchemist
02-27-2012, 11:26 PM
I've read here somewhere that a bee keeper had been "stung" by dead bees in the honey. Be careful about squeezing those panty hose feet.

robin850
02-27-2012, 11:31 PM
good point, dont squeeze too hard!

tweak'e
02-28-2012, 02:50 AM
I've read here somewhere that a bee keeper had been "stung" by dead bees in the honey. Be careful about squeezing those panty hose feet.

yeah that probably was me. lucky the sting stuck in the top of my mouth and i don't react badly to stings.

i would get rid of the bees. very easy to strain out. trust me when i say you do not want to taste rotten bees. it WILL make you hurl ;D. something to watch if the honey has been sitting around a while.

Loadnabox
02-28-2012, 11:00 AM
I diluted some of the honey into the desired SG for my must, then gently heated to no more than 120Fi and skimmed the crud from the top using a metal mesh colander. Not fine mesh, but only one step up from fine mesh.

veritas
02-28-2012, 12:01 PM
I'd personally just ferment it, bees and all. :)

This. I would do this.

The_Bishop
02-28-2012, 03:46 PM
Would this be a Beeomel?

wayneb
02-28-2012, 04:03 PM
An apisomel, I think....

HunnyBunz
02-28-2012, 07:37 PM
Mead : Now with MORE Bee Parts!

;-)

I'm thinking a bee in a high ABV mead bottle - like the worm in a bottle of Mezcal! ;D

fatbloke
02-28-2012, 07:49 PM
Nah! never mind......

Dan McFeeley
02-28-2012, 07:55 PM
I'm thinking a bee in a high ABV mead bottle - like the worm in a bottle of Mezcal! ;D


Should provide some good nutrients. Anyone for a SBA schedule? ;D

--

skunkboy
02-28-2012, 07:57 PM
I'm thinking a bee in a high ABV mead bottle - like the worm in a bottle of Mezcal! ;D

The Mead with a Sting!

TheAlchemist
02-28-2012, 10:19 PM
Melissomel

cabeasle
02-29-2012, 12:17 AM
Well... I tried straining it through a cheese cloth, but it was a little too thick to flow in a way that I was patient enough to handle :) I did get out the larger chunks of wax and the bees, though there may still be leg or something along with some smaller pieces of flotsam floating around in there somewhere.

I figure I will go ahead and ferment as is. Hopefully there is nothing in there that poses any danger to either the ferment or myself :)

I love the idea of the bee in the bottle.... probably scare too many people off, though. What about a nice piece of honey comb, though? Innocuous enough, and might still draw in a crowd that likes rustic appeal....

wayneb
02-29-2012, 12:57 AM
Nah! never mind......
Why do I think that I know where you were about to go with that thought?? ;D

fatbloke
02-29-2012, 01:50 AM
Why do I think that I know where you were about to go with that thought?? ;D
Ah, well.........

Perhaps its more to the point to ask why is it that Hollywood still casts Brits as the evil ones ? Alan Rickman has a lot to answer for.....;)

TheAlchemist
02-29-2012, 05:46 PM
What about a nice piece of honey comb, though? Innocuous enough, and might still draw in a crowd that likes rustic appeal....

If you've stabilized and are backsweetening, that's fine. Otherwise you're asking for MEA

huesmann
03-03-2012, 10:43 AM
I've read here somewhere that a bee keeper had been "stung" by dead bees in the honey. Be careful about squeezing those panty hose feet.
Rubber gloves. Latex might work too.