Is Candied Honey Injurious?

There has an idea been advanced, that candied honey is injurious to

bees, even said to be fatal. I never could discover any thing further,

than it was a perfect waste, while in this state. When boiled, and a

little water added, it appears to be just as good as any. Nearly every

stock will have more or less of it on hand at this season; but as warm

weather approaches, and the bees increase to warm the hive, it seems to

get liquified, from this cause alone. The bees, when compelled to use

honey from these cells, thus candied, waste a large portion; a part is

liquid, and the rest is grained like sugar, which may be seen on the

bottom-board, as the bees work it out very often. Another object in

feeding bees, is to give inferior honey, mixed with sugar and flavored

to suit the taste, to the bees, and let them store it in boxes for

market. Now, I have no faith in honey undergoing any chemical change in

the stomach of the bee,[14] and cannot recommend this as the honest

course. Neither do I think it would be very profitable, feeding to this

extent, under any circumstances. I have a few times had some boxes

nearly finished and fit for market at the end of the honey season; a

little more added would make them answer. I have then fed a few pounds

of good honey, but always found that several pounds had to be given the

bees to get one in the boxes.

[14] Mr. Gillman's patent for feeding bees, is based on the

principle of a chemical change. It is said that the food he gives

to the bees, when poured into the cells, becomes honey of the

first quality. This appears extremely mysterious; for it is well

understood that when a bee has filled its sack it will go to the

hive, deposit its load, and return immediately for more; and will

continue its labor throughout the day, or until the supply fails;

each load occupying but few minutes. The time in going from the

feeder to the hive is so short that a change so important is not

at all probable. The nature of bees seems to be to _collect_

honey, not _make_ it; hence we find, when bees are gathering from

clover, they store quite a different article than when from

buckwheat,--or when we feed West India honey, in quantities

sufficient to have it stored _pure_ in the boxes, we find that it

has lost none of its bad taste in passing through the sacks of

our northern bees.

It appears most probable that, if Southern honey and cheap sugar

form the basis of his food, (which it is said to,) that it is

flavored with something to disguise the disagreeable qualities of

the compound. Should this be the secret, it would seem like a

waste to feed it to bees--a portion would be given to the brood,

and possibly the old bees might not always refrain from sipping a

little of the tempting nectar. Why not, when the compound was

ready,--instead of wasting it by this process,--put it directly

in market? Or, is it necessary to have it in the combs to help

psychologize the consumer into the belief that it is honey of a

pure quality?

Is A Dry Or Wet Season Best For Honey? Is It An Elaborate Or Natural Substance? facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail