Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

September 7, 2007

Honey By The Gallon

I received a call from one of my customers yesterday. She is part of a group of people that cooks with honey. Usually there are six or seven gallons involved. I try not to bottle honey until it is ordered, which means I have to get two five gallon buckets of honey and put them in my honey heater for 2 days, then strain the honey through a paint strainer or cheesecloth. The reason for straining is to remove the little pieces of wax and bee body parts from the honey. I want the pollen to remain in the honey for the medicinal properties.

I like the honey to reach 120 degrees F slowly and keep it there for at least 8 hours and not more than 36 hours. The longer honey is kept heated, the darker it becomes. I don’t want the honey to cook, just to be thin like water so that it will pour through the strainer fast so I can let it set long enough for the air bubbles to rise to the top before beginning my bottling sequence.

I sell the honey for a lower price if the customer has a return gallon jar. If not, then I have to add $5.00 to the price to pay for the jar and lid. It also helps to offset the price to the label.

A side note: You can use any glass container for honey after you have washed and sanitized it. If you use plastic containers, then they need to be new. Used plastic containers usually retains the taste of the liquid that was in the container, ie: milk, citrus juices, cool-aid, etc. This will in turn give the honey a different taste and that will be enough to keep the honey from being “pure honey.” If you mix anything other than honey and comb in the container, it is then considered “adulterated” and is no longer pure honey.

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