My friend and neighbor gave me some honey directly from his hive and it has a light coating of whiteish material on it, otherwise it looks fine. Would like to find out what it is and if its a problem?
Did he hive you liquid honey or the honey comb itself? If it was honey comb, bees cap the cells with wax (which is white) when the honey is ready.
If liquid (extracted) honey, then these cappings are removed to get at the honey and unless the honey is strained (or separated in some manner) some of these cappings will end up in the honey and will float to the top.
Either way it's normal and fine to eat. It's a real treat to have honey strait from the hive.
Here is a link that might be useful: Honey Comb Picture
this honey comb looks real nice, I have a question, since I'm getting into bees this Year, do you eat just the
honey, or comb and all? sounds like dumb question but have never seen it being sold like this.
You can eat the comb (wax, honey and likely some pollen and propolis). You can spread it (wax and all) on toast, rolls, etc. It use to be very common to find it sold this way, but I haven't seen it sold in grocery stores regularly since I was very young (some 20+ years ago). I find most people younger than 30 don't know of it at all, but lots of those 50+ do.
But since modern mass marketed products have taken over local markets, liquid honey (filtered, pasteurized, and blended for the 'perfect' color) is the norm. In part because it can be mass produced, is a completely uniform product, has a longer shelf life (comb tends to crystalize in a few months), has more uses, and is more available all year long. Not to mention cheap imported honey which dominates the store shelves.
Comb honey (in addition to the great fresh taste) has another advantage for the beginning beekeeper. No special equipment to buy (extracters, heated knives, etc.). It does tend to crystalize faster but it can be frozen to extend it's life almost indefinately (though crystalized honey isn't bad). Plus if you want liquid honey you can literally squeze the honey comb and put it though a strainer. It's not very efficent, but works fine for 1 or two hives.
thank you Tim,
that all sounds good! I might just try that, with my one or two hive going soon!