This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Foam floating on top of honey

Whenever beekeepers bottle honey, foam can be an issue. Air bubbles in honey makes the honey unattractive. Air bubbles come from the agitation of honey when pouring into a container or from extracting. With time, the container of honey will clear up, as all the air bubbles rise to the surface. When the bubbles hit the surface of the honey, the bubbles form a layer of white foam.
 Next time you go to the grocery store, look at the top of the containers of honey on the shelf. You will see foam on the top of the honey in the jar.
 This small amount of foam is a result of moving the honey from a large container and the agitation of the honey as it fills the smaller bottle.
 Hobby beekeepers keep their stored honey in 5 gallon pails or in larger honey bottlers. The surface of honey in the pail or bottler will accumulate foam. This foam can be troublesome when bottling the last bit of honey.
 When pouring the last few jars of honey, large amounts of foam will go into the bottles. It can be many bottles end up with a large amount of foam. This results in unattractive honey.
 What can be done to stop this foam issue? A beekeeper can skim the foam off. That can be very time consuming, messy and wasteful of good honey.
 What works well, is to use Cling wrap or Saran wrap. Tear a sheet off and lay it on the foam, on top of the honey surface. You may have to tap the wrap down so it is in contact with the foam. Have a trash container next to you. Peel the wrap back, most of the foam will be on the wrap. It is not perfect, but it does seem to get rid of 90% of the foam as the wrap comes off the surface of the honey.
This is my 300 lb honey bottler. On top of the honey, floats a layer of foam. I have laid Cling Wrap on top of the foam. 

Peeling back the wrap, you can see the foam cling to the wrap.

Peeling back the wrap shows a much less foam. The amount of honey being wasted is very small.

The result of the Cling Wrap. Almost foam free.