Nectar Composition

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Joined
Jan 8, 2020
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Location
Bracklesham Bay, West Sussex
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
It's a fairly fluid thing.... more than 10, less than 15
I was asked a question by someone who bought honey from me, which I couldn’t answer, so hoping the clever folks here might.
She asked why the honey i sold her back in the summer hadn’t set yet. I explained about the sugar types in honey and glucose causing granulation plus certain types of forage (ie OSR) but she wanted to know more about which other nectar types might cause honey to granulate or stay runny for longer.
Is there a definitive list somewhere of nectar composition by plant type?
 
I was asked a question by someone who bought honey from me, which I couldn’t answer, so hoping the clever folks here might.
She asked why the honey i sold her back in the summer hadn’t set yet. I explained about the sugar types in honey and glucose causing granulation plus certain types of forage (ie OSR) but she wanted to know more about which other nectar types might cause honey to granulate or stay runny for longer.
Is there a definitive list somewhere of nectar composition by plant type?
Maybe it was the week in the warming cabinet at 50degC that stop it from granulating 😉
 
I believe it's the glucose:sucrose ratio which is the key.

Borage is meant to be slow
I think chestnut is too
I find bramble medium
Ivy, sunflower and OSR are fast

Others can speak for dandelion etc. as I've bit had pure enough to know.
 
Also grade of mesh for straining will affect it as there will be less debris with finer meshes thus fewer foci for granulation.
 
It has sort of been answered, it is the ratio between glucose and fructose. The more fructose the runnier (lime and fushcia) and the more glucose the more set ( brassica) . You can offset granulation with heat or fine sieving.
 
It has sort of been answered, it is the ratio between glucose and fructose. The more fructose the runnier (lime and fushcia) and the more glucose the more set ( brassica) . You can offset granulation with heat or fine sieving.
Was hoping there was info on more specific species/plant groups and approximate granulation rates but this is all very helpful.
 
Was hoping there was info on more specific species/plant groups and approximate granulation rates but this is all very helpful.
There is no definitive list - the problem is that there are few places in the UK where you get a single source honey apart from the obvious ones, OSR, Heather, Dandelion, Lavender, Ivy, Borage and Lime (if you are lucky enough to have apiaries near to these concentrated crops which bees will focus on) so most honeys will be a mixture and that will affect the time it takes to set. Generally speaking, the nectars with higher glucose levels will set fastest - and as JBM says, those with more pollen grains or foreign bodies that form a focal point for the sugars to crystallise on will also set faster. Best to filter the honey straight from the extractor or immediately after which will prolong the setting time of most multifloral honeys ... the shorr answer - how long is a piece of string !
 
I am away at the moment so I cannot check, but I think Ted Hooper has a specific chapter on honey granulation times from specific floral sources
 
I am away at the moment so I cannot check, but I think Ted Hooper has a specific chapter on honey granulation times from specific floral sources
I've just checked every page referencing granulation in the index - it doesn't, a mention of it here and there, but nothing specific as to types of honey and granulation times
 
I've just checked every page referencing granulation in the index - it doesn't, a mention of it here and there, but nothing specific as to types of honey and granulation times
You've read more beekeeping books than anyone I know, I've got a few myself and I've never seen a chart of granulation times published anywhere - to be be honest, because of the possible influences that could affect the granulation it would, at best, be a rough guide and a worst wrong in most cases.
 
:thanks: Although there is no definitive answer, I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to comment and it's given me a bit more knowledge on the subject which is always good.
 
That's really helpful, thanks Mark :)
I’m sure there was a list posted on here which had sugar percentages of uk flowers and if I remember cherry nectar was number 1 at 65% dandelion 35% .
All very interesting as it’s something I’m interested in to
 
I’m sure there was a list posted on here which had sugar percentages of uk flowers and if I remember cherry nectar was number 1 at 65% dandelion 35% .
All very interesting as it’s something I’m interested in to
This Link contains a list of sorts and explains things in simple terms. One of the references is
Eva Crane, Honey: A Comprehensive Survey (Heinemann, London, 1979).
 

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