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Can I dump honey on my compost pile?

Lima, OH(Zone 5b)

I have honey left in a 1/2 gal plastic bottle; but it seems to have absorbed a plastic smell from the bottle and we won't eat it. Can I dump it on my compost pile, or in the soil; or will it attract unwanted critters?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I can't think of any reason why you could not dump your honey into the compost - except - if the plastic has wondered into the honey, then it will wonder into your compost.

If you do put it in your compost, I would please ask that you bury it so honeybees don't try to take it back to their hive. Processed honey can be lethal to honeybees.

I'm a former beekeeper.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Good to know Honeybee~
I would use it but I would water down first- Maybe that would keep it from being attractive to any bees too.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

sallyg - watering down honey will NOT make it less attractive to honeybees. Adding water to honey will make it ferment. Fermented honey will give honeybees a "buzz" (drunk) see this link:

watered down honey is not good for humans, either :)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

OK, sorry. I just was thinking I'd dilute i quite a bit in a bucket of water and assume it would wash down into the compost...

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Can bees actually burrow down into the compost to get to the honey?

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Rick, I doubt honeybees would burrow into compost to get to honey buried there, but if it leaked to the outside of the bin, they would certainly take advantage of it.

Honeybees don't immediately consume the nectar they collect. They mix it with other sources of nectar, then fan it with their wings to remove excess moisture. When it is the correct consistency, they cap the cell with beeswax, which they excrete from their own bodies.

During the winter months, or when there is little nectar available, they break into their stores to keep themselves alive. If they have stored "bad honey" they can get sick and die. Honey that is purchased from the supermarket has frequently been heated to prevent it from crystallizing. Some honeys on the shelf (especially those imported from overseas) are adulterated with high fructose corn syrup or other "syrups" - these are deadly to honeybees!

Even "real honey" should not be given to honeybees as it can contain spores that will make them sick.

Facinating creatures honeybees!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

That is so impressive that 'mere' insects do all that!

Danville, IN(Zone 5b)

Honeybee...I had no idea it could be lethal! Thank you so much for this valuable info. I was indeed dumping it into compost idea I could be doing harm to the bees....I will pay more attention and spread the word!

Lima, OH(Zone 5b)

Wow, thanks for all the info! I thought about adding water to dilute and disperse it, or just burying it; but I guess dumping it down the drain is the answer

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I'm curious as to why anyone would throw away honey. It doesn't go bad unless water is added to it, or it sits around for too long.

Honey is hydroscopic, and will attract water to itself over time.

Lima, OH(Zone 5b)

someone gave us a large plastic jug full of honey, but over time the honey has picked up the chemical smell of the plastic...I should have transferred it to a glass container for long term storage, as most things take on a plastic smell after a while.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Tammylp - I understand completely. My hubby transfers everything into glass containers that comes in plastic. We go around the supermarket tapping containers trying to guess if it's plastic or glass. LOL

I don't even store leftovers in plastic. I've purchased lots of glass containers to store/reheat food in. Before we purchased this house, we made sure it had copper pipes - plastic makes water taste terrible!

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