Over the last few years, I’ve learned many interesting tidbits from Phillip over at Mudsongs.org. Several weeks ago he wrote something about feeding crystallized honey back to his bees by just leaving it in the jar.
Why did I never think of this? I usually try to do something to it, which is really silly since I’m the one always preaching “do less, not more.” I’ve tried mixing crystallized honey with water and putting it in feeders; I’ve tried mixing it with pollen substitute and making patties. Each of these projects was messier than the one before.
So Phillip comes along and says to just put the whole jar in the hive. It sounded brilliant to me. Since I have a newly captured swarm I’m trying to nurse along, I rummaged around until I found a pint mason jar full of crystallized honey. It was the rock-hard type. You would need a chisel to get it out, so I was doubtful.
Nevertheless, I got a shallow super and put it on top of an inner cover. I placed the jar on its side and closed up the hive. Two days later, I went back to see if they were making any progress.
I have to say, the jar was so clean I almost forgot to wash it. I could have stuck it back in the cupboard and no one would know. In two days those bees ate every molecule of honey and polished the jar as well.
So now I’m a convert. I rarely have crystallized honey, but now I can’t wait to try this again. Thanks, Phillip. Very efficient!