Aghh-extracted honey is 22%

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Sep 7, 2015
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East Yorkshire
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Took a super off yesterday and did the shake test only a couple of frames dripped which I returned to the hive.
All were unsealed (Rape) apart from a couple of small patches. When home I tested a bit on the hydrometer at 18% which I now realise came from the cut off bits which I had unsealed. Extracted 20 pounds and did another test and all 22%. Another lesson learnt, to use the hydrometer on site to test the water content.

My plan was to make soft set. Last year I extracted before this date and all was below 20%. I don't like mead, don't cook with honey, too much for me to eat and I hesitate feeding back now in a feeder or mess about putting back into comb... which would encourage robbing.

I don't want to throw it away, so I am wondering if I keep it to September will it be ok then to top feed it back to the bees?
Or any other suggestions would be appreciated.
You are not that far off at 20% .. Do you have, can you borrow or beg a small dehumidier ?

If you can, with a sealed box (even a big cardboard one), containing the dehumidifier and the honey you have extracted you should be able to reduce the water content to a safer level.

Spreading the honey across as large a surface area as you can will help the drying so a smaller quantity in a big tub would be better than all of it in a smaller container.
Take the reading on every five jars. After settling the honey with the higher water content rises to the surface. You may get quite a few jars from the bottom!
Take the reading on every five jars. After settling the honey with the higher water content rises to the surface. You may get quite a few jars from the bottom!
Thanks Enrico & Pargyle good suggestions. I have poured the honey across 6 tubs to widen the surface area and will test every few days then put back to one tub, leave to settle then draw from the bottom as suggested by Enrico.
Had the same problem last year took it up to our box room with a dehumidifier running had one bucket slowly running into another.It was surprising how much water it removed.
I don't have a dehumidifier so after moving the honey into 6 tubs I am putting two at a time into my warming cabinet (converted fridge with an STC100) at 35c to see what effect that has.
I will report back!
Any advice on this dehumidifier?

Looks to me as though it would be fine for the job .. might even fit in your warming cabinet so you have a sealed environment. It can remove up to 250ml a day so it's not going to dry out a new plastered room in a hurry but for drying honey .. 250ml of water out of your 22% is going to make a massive difference.
If you have a 30 lb (13.64 kg) bucket of 22% you will need to remove ~660 mL water to get it to 18%.
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Had the mini dehumidifier working for about 14 hrs and just went up to my bee shed to investigate.
I had 50lb of honey in two open buckets in my honey warmer set at 35deg. I had the machine placed between the buckets and stirred the buckets three times during the evening.
This morning the machine had approx 50ml in the container so the set up works but I'm not sure how much is due to the machine or the warming as I've found warming alone has reduced water content slightly in the past.
If the honey was in trays I'm sure the effectiveness of the machine would be better.
BTW I recalibrated my refractometer to find that it was over reading by 0.5% so the buckets were under 18% anyway! Doh.:hairpull::hairpull::hairpull:
I've just bought one and put it in my honey warmer with some honey that was 18.5% to try and get it down below 18%.
I only paid £30 for mine.
I bought this dehumidifier ( and put it in my warming cabinet overnight, set at 35c, and not a drop of water extracted. I had previously done as suggested on the forum and spread the honey between 5 buckets and got it down to 19%.... and thought the dehumidifier would have reduced it a bit further.
I would suggest that the air is so dry at the moment that there was no moisture to extract! My outside moisture level is only 35 % at the moment.

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