Creamed Honey

Fifteen tubs of creamed honey.

Fifteen tubs of creamed honey.

Natural honey granulates; it gets hard over time. It’s a fact of real honey. There are some honeys that take more time, but it all granulates. Honey that has been pasteurized and high pressure filtered won’t granulate, but of course by then it contains no healthy enzymes (the reason we eat honey). It’s just liquid sugar. Creamed, or whipped, honey is made by controlling the size of the crystals in naturally granulating honey, the smaller and more oval the crystals, the creamier the honey.

Cotton honey granulates very quickly, within days of bottling. So it is a good choice for making creamed honey. I had almost 90 lbs. of cotton honey. Here are 15 of the 88 tubs we made this weekend. Two of the tubs are turned on their sides to show the creamed honey (semi-solid and not pouring on the counter).

Notice how it doesn't drip when laid on its side.

Notice how it doesn’t drip when laid on its side.

If you drag a spoon across creamed honey, it liquifies a little. Creamed honey is way less messy than the liquid honey and is great for spreading on biscuits and bread. In fact, it can be used for all the same things for which you use liquid honey, but it’s less messy and is still 100% pure honey.

 

 

 

 

 

Killing v/s Removing Honey Bees

Tish and Jeff Anderson had a problem last year. They did the right thing in contacting a beekeeper to remove the bees, but they did not contact the right one. Here’s the situation: The bees were first noticed when the cable guy got stung hooking up their cable lines last year. They were entering between mortar slots in bricks, going up under the siding of the second floor. The ceiling joists betweent he first and second floors are located in this area. No one knew how long the bees had been in the house. The beekeeper assumed that the colony was a recent swarm and did a simple trap removal. No siding was removed and no visual of the hive was conducted. He then sprayed a pesticide in the entry way and stuffed the entrance with No Pest Strips. Everything appeared to work and the Andersons were satisfied.

Shortly after the removal, the Andersons started having issues with ants and small white maggot-like lavae on that end of the house. A little more time passed and rats moved in. Pest and animal control companies were called. Finally, this Spring Wax Moths started coming into the upstair bedroom.

The Andersons were told that small hive beetles and wax moths were eating the honey combs that were left unattended in the corner of their house when their honey bees werre killed last year. Then a week ago, honey started dripping into their front room!!!

Honey dripping from the window trim

Honey dripping from the window trim

Honey dripping from the crown molding

Honey dripping from the crown molding

Honey pooling on the windowsill

Honey pooling on the windowsill

 

 

 

 

 

Tish pulled back the carpet because it was getting wet from the drippings. That’s when she realized the honey was dripping behind the wall also.

Honey pooling on the concrete behind the sheetrock wall.

Honey pooling on the concrete behind the sheetrock wall.

More honey pooling, this time below the window.

More honey pooling, this time below the window. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wall had to be opened to remove the honey soaked insulation batting, and the ceiling had to be removed to cut out all wax and the honeycomb. Extra sheetrock was removed because of the honey that had pooled on top of it.

Window trim removed, honey drenched window header exposed

Window trim removed, honey drenched window header exposed

Sheetrock ceiling weighed down with honey and fallen comb

Sheetrock ceiling weighed down with honey and fallen comb

Exposed dead hive

Exposed dead hive

The rest of the hive exposed

The rest of the hive exposed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once everything was exposed, it was a matter of scraping out the dead comb and dropping it into the trash. Kitty litter applied to the leaks on the concrete made for easier clean up later.

Just about done...

Just about done…

 

 

 

 

 

Bottom line: If a honey bee colony is killed in the ceiling or in the walls of a home, there will be an expensive mess to clean up later. It is almost always better to remove the comb with the bees, to prevent problems in the future.

Honey Bees in Chickasaw Gardens District, Memphis, TN

Chickasaw Gardens is a nice older part of Memphis with a lot of really cool homes. This home was in process of being sold when the honey bees were discovered. The plaster walls and ceiling made it a little difficult to locate the colony, but they were located in the dormer void above the window. They were removed and relocated to Germantown Farm Park.

Plaster walls and ceiling!!!

Plaster walls and ceiling!!!

Plaster removed, lath and bees exposed.

Plaster removed, lath and bees exposed.

Bees!

Bees!

Two queen cells

Two queen cells

Lots of angled wood filled with bees and comb.

Lots of angled wood filled with bees and comb.

Comb removed.

Comb removed.

Almost done.

Almost done.

 

Storage Unit Honey Bees Memphis, TN

When you enter a storage unit, do you ever look up? Have you ever wondered what may be above your head. You know spiders and roaches may be on the floor, but what else may be lurking in the shadows? Maybe honey bees…

This is what was just inside the door of a local storage unit in Memphis, TN. The comb and bees were removed and relocated to Bartlett, TN. The queen was found and has been marked for tracking purposes in her new home.

Look up when entering a storage unit.

Look up when entering a storage unit.

 

 

 
Three combs afixed to cinder blocks

Three combs affixed to cinder blocks

 

 

 

 

 

Honey bee swarm season has arrived in West Tennessee

Spring has sprung and the queens are building up their colonies of honey bees in the Mid-South. We have received calls from Bartlett, Memphis, Germantown, Cordova, Collierville and Oakland. Here are some photos so you can tell the difference between bees collecting groceries – pollen and nectar, and swarming – looking for a new home. These are photos of some of the swarms collected, so far, this Spring.

 

Swarm on a rose bush - half have fallen in the bucket.

Swarm on a rose bush – half have fallen in the bucket.

Swarm high in a white oak (30 ft.)

Swarm high in a white oak (30 ft.)

Swarm in a Japanese maple

Swarm in a Japanese maple

Swarm on the corner of a house

Swarm on the corner of a house

Swarm in a Bradford pear

Swarm in a Bradford pear

 

 

 

 

Mid-town Memphis Bee Removal

Today starts the official removal season in the Memphis area. I’ll be in Mid-town removing honey bees from an attic. The homeowner noticed them around Christmas when he was in his attic and we were able to put the removal off until the weather got nicer. The high today should be around 75 F. and it’s already 50. Should be a good day. Photos to follow.

Well, it took a while but here are the photos:

Looking at the entrance.

Looking at the entrance.

Breaking into the honey bee colony.

Breaking into the honey bee colony.

Empty comb.

Empty comb.

I see bees.

I see bees.

I see more bees.

I see more bees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comb being framed to be added to the brood box.

Comb being framed to be added to the brood box.

Cutting to fit the frame.

Cutting to fit the frame.

More brood comb

More brood comb

Queen cups.

Queen cups.

Honey

Honey

 

A very long honey comb.

A very long honey comb.

 

Bees on the brood comb frames.

Bees on the brood comb frames.

 

Bucket full of bees. There were 4 from this house.

Bucket full of bees. There were 4 from this house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

West Clinic Swarm Removal, Memphis, TN

As I am preparing for the new bee season I found a swarm that was previously un-posted. Here you go:

The West Clinic is known as a cancer treatment clinic, not as a bee breeding ground. Late in the bee year, we got a call on a swarm directly over their outside break area.

The swarm up in the tree.

The swarm up in the tree. 

A closer look.

A closer look.

Getting in postition to shake the bees into the bucket.

Getting in position to shake the bees into the bucket.

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the bees made it into the bucket. The rest landed on the ground

The bucket (with the queen inside) is used to lure the rest in.

The bucket (with the queen inside) is used to lure the rest in.

The bees follow the smell of the queen into the bucket.

The bees follow the smell of the queen into the bucket.

Almost all in.

Almost all in.

 

 

 

 

 

Just about done. Stragglers are making their way to the bucket where the queen is.

The bucket is capped and ready to be loaded in the BeeMobile

The bucket is capped and ready to be loaded in the BeeMobile

 

 

 

 

 

Kiwanis Honey Bee Presentation

The Bartlett Bee Whisperer was invited to speak to the Germantown Kiwanis Club, discussing where our honey bees are going and what we can do to help save them.

DSC_3999a

Questions brought me into beekeeping.

Questions brought me into beekeeping.

Bees pollinate accidentally as they gather their own food.

Bees pollinate accidentally as they gather their own food.

 

 

 

 

 

When we talk about bees disappearing around the world, it is important to remember that there are many hazards faced by the bees as they go through their regular work day. As much as the media would like to jump on pesticides, there are also parasitic mites, bee specific viruses/diseases, changes in farming practices and the virtual food deserts that surround the bees habitats.

A life without bees, would have many "up a tree" pollinating with brushes.

A life without bees, would have many “up a tree” pollinating with brushes.

 

 

In many locations, where bees are less numerous, people hand pollinate trees and plants. This is done with small brushes, distributing pollen from one flower to the next.

 

Thanks from the Germantown Kiwanis President

Thanks from the Germantown Kiwanis President

Give me another question. The last statement on the screen says, Saving our supper one hive at a time. Because I remove honey bees from homes, I feel that I am saving our supper every time I rescue a hive from a home. The homeowners’ options, when they find a swarm in their house, are to call a pest control company and kill the bees, try to kill them with wasp sprays, or to call a beekeeper. Call a beekeeper, please.

Honey Bees in Millington, TN

Metro Builders, Memphis, TN called with a request to remove honey bees from a house in Millington. The homeowner is having the house remodeled and there were bees in the soffit over the garage.

The bees are entering in the gaps of the shingles and caulk.

The bees are entering in the gaps of the shingles and caulk.

A peek inside after removing the trim and frieze boards.

A peek inside after removing the trim and frieze boards.

The soffitt has been dropped and the full hive exposed.

The soffitt has been dropped and the full hive exposed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The white capped honey and raw uncapped nectar.

The white capped honey and raw uncapped nectar.

Job done! Bees cacuumed up and combs framed and boxed,

Job done! Bees vacuumed up and combs framed and boxed,