Published on 12/08/05

Don’t pitch hard honey; nuke it

By Stephanie Schupska
University of Georgia

Not much compares to the taste of a warm, homemade biscuit topped with local honey -- until you discover a hard layer of sugar has formed inside your honey jar.

University of Georgia honey bee experts say don’t toss that honey just yet. It’s absolutely normal for honey to start to crystallize over time, said Jennifer Berry, a research coordinator working in the UGA Honey Bee Program.

The solution to the “hard honey” problem is to warm your honey jar in the microwave. Depending on the size of the jar, heat the honey for about 30 seconds to just over a minute, Berry says. Be sure to take the top off the jar before putting it in the microwave.

The rate of crystallization depends on the type of nectar honey bees collect. The blackberry, blueberry, bramble bloom honey currently for sale by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ entomology department will crystallize at a different rate than cotton bloom, tupelo or sourwood honeys.

If you want to learn more about beekeeping, attend the Beekeeping for Beginners class set for 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the State Botanical Garden in Athens, Ga. The class is the first in a series and will cover the nuts and bolts of beekeeping.

The class will be held in the Callaway Auditorium and Botanical Garden Visitor Center’s Classroom A. The cost is $40 for garden members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information, call 706- 542-6156 or e-mail

(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

Stephanie Schupska is the communications coordinator with the University of Georgia Honors College.