Beekeeper's Blog - February 19, 2014
Crystalized Honey. What happens and what to do about it? This time of year, after the weather has been cooler (or downright cold!) all that honey in the cupboard or on the cabinet shelf is looking different. Sort of solid, maybe even lighter in color. What's happening is crystalization. The glucose (sugars) in the honey are forming crystals and becoming more of a solid than a liquid. This is not always a bad thing. When I bake homemade bread, I like it with nice big holes, light and fluffy. The crystalized honey doesn't run through the toasted bread onto the kitchen floor. It is thick and spreads nice and slow. It can get a little gritty, but still tastes great and sweet. It still mixes well with peanut butter...my favorite combination.
To bring it back to its former self, not crystalized, just put the jar in a pan of warm water, about 100 degrees. Let it sit and change out the warm water with some more as it cools. You will soon see the crystals disolve in the jar and the honey will clear up.
As the weather warms and the days get longer again, the bees wake up from their winter rest and begin to expand their hive again. More bees are flying and looking for all those beautiful flowering trees that seem to bloom suddenly this time of year. In Marin county spring comes early. A little later in Sonoma county as it is slightly further north. Even in February the plum trees put on a beautiful show of white and pink flowers. Tulip magnolias pop open suddenly and of course, one of bees favorites, rosemary puts on a show of blue flowers.