First honey of the season

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enrico 

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Well I took my first honey off today. Three weeks later than last year. Interesting that I had fully capped ripe honey mixed with fresh nectar. I think their flow got interrupted by the weather. Only spun off the decent capped honey frames and ended up with 18% water content which is passable. The rest has gone back to the bees to finish off! 25 jars to keep me going!
 

Susan1 

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Congratulations. Its a lovely feeling getting the first honey. I have not had honey for two years now, fingers crossed for some this year.
 

The Poot 

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Well I took my first honey off today. Three weeks later than last year. Interesting that I had fully capped ripe honey mixed with fresh nectar. I think their flow got interrupted by the weather. Only spun off the decent capped honey frames and ended up with 18% water content which is passable. The rest has gone back to the bees to finish off! 25 jars to keep me going!
Nice one Enrico👍
I should be doing the same in a week or so....I think.
 

Newbeeneil 

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I did my first extraction last week and it was only about 50% capped and still about 17.5% wc.
Taking another 150lb off tomorrow!
 

drdrday 

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My first extraction of the year was this weekend too, and two weeks later than last year. I had two fully capped supers, another super with just a pair of capped frames in the middle and the fourth super is no where near ready yet.
Still, I'm looking forward to jarring it later this week as I'm sold out of last year's crop - plus, jarring is so much less strenuous and messy than extracting 🙄
 

LeaBees 

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Well I took my first honey off today. Three weeks later than last year. Interesting that I had fully capped ripe honey mixed with fresh nectar. I think their flow got interrupted by the weather. Only spun off the decent capped honey frames and ended up with 18% water content which is passable. The rest has gone back to the bees to finish off! 25 jars to keep me going!
Beginner question, but would you recommend waiting until all frames are fully capped before removing full supers? Got some supers that are full but not fully capped.
 

BugsInABox 

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Beginner question, but would you recommend waiting until all frames are fully capped before removing full supers? Got some supers that are full but not fully capped.
I think usually yes wait - unless you think you've rape honey in which case it's a judgement call - wait tpo long and it'll set in the combs (possibly before even capping apparently). There is a shake test.
 

Erichalfbee 

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My first extraction of the year was this weekend too, and two weeks later than last year. I had two fully capped supers, another super with just a pair of capped frames in the middle and the fourth super is no where near ready yet.
Still, I'm looking forward to jarring it later this week as I'm sold out of last year's crop - plus, jarring is so much less strenuous and messy than extracting 🙄
Mine goes into 3lb tubs without a label. Even less strenuous 😉
 

drex 

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I think usually yes wait - unless you think you've rape honey in which case it's a judgement call - wait tpo long and it'll set in the combs (possibly before even capping apparently). There is a shake test.
Rape honey will set before capping towards the end of the crop.
Shake test- hold a frame face down and give a strong jerky shake. If nectar comes flying out, it is not ready.
I often extract when the majority of comb is capped, with some uncapped and it is usually ok.
A refracto meter is the only way to be certain of water content.
 

hemo 

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Last week my girls had only just started to show signs of capping the spring honey, will see later this week if they have progressed.
 

Beedogg 

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At what stage do you do the refractor check? If it's after you've extracted, what do you do if the moisture content is too high?

I ask because I have my very first nearly-full super and I'm contemplating removing it for my first honey crop. Not bad for a swarm that was only hived about 5 weeks ago.
 

Niv 

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Thats great, nice one enrico.

To date, I haven't taken a mid season crop, mainly due to the fact that I didn't have my own extractor and borrowing one from the local bka is a bit of a faff, so i tend to wait until the end of the season and do it in one hit. I could probably do with it though as i keep getting asked and ran out of last years crop before Christmas!
 

enrico 

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Thats great, nice one enrico.

To date, I haven't taken a mid season crop, mainly due to the fact that I didn't have my own extractor and borrowing one from the local bka is a bit of a faff, so i tend to wait until the end of the season and do it in one hit. I could probably do with it though as i keep getting asked and ran out of last years crop before Christmas!
I use a manual three frame to do each box as it becomes available. Gives me loads of different types of honey. Keeps the customers coming back for the next batch. Don't get bored doing it! Etc etc
 

enrico 

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At what stage do you do the refractor check? If it's after you've extracted, what do you do if the moisture content is too high?

I ask because I have my very first nearly-full super and I'm contemplating removing it for my first honey crop. Not bad for a swarm that was only hived about 5 weeks ago.
I do it from frames that are uncapped before extraction. I do it during extraction. I do it with the first and last jars on bottling. As often as possible to ensure it is above the water content!
 

Cuckmere couple 

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i took a few supers off yesterday.....quite a lot of rape in there and only just caught it really
 

Niv 

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I use a manual three frame to do each box as it becomes available. Gives me loads of different types of honey. Keeps the customers coming back for the next batch. Don't get bored doing it! Etc etc
Its a good method. After you saying you batch each super individually I did the same with my last years crop. It was worth it overall, although I didnt find there was a huge amount of difference between most batches but the later batches did crystalise much quicker - which has spurred me into planning to make my own soft set honey this year.
 

hemo 

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At what stage do you do the refractor check? If it's after you've extracted, what do you do if the moisture content is too high?

I ask because I have my very first nearly-full super and I'm contemplating removing it for my first honey crop. Not bad for a swarm that was only hived about 5 weeks ago.
Uncap the sealed frames any uncapped on the same frame say 10/15% is likely to be ripe and can be extracted, just cells may not bee full enough for them to cap over. A quick test of BRIX will confirm, using a matchstick as a dipper try several cells (Note to BBKA they have other proper uses).
Other wise jiggle the frames at the hive and leave uncapped with bees, remove empty frames to accommodate them. Removing some to do so should be fine if they have room for forage to be ripened.
 

hemo 

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Its a good method. After you saying you batch each super individually I did the same with my last years crop. It was worth it overall, although I didnt find there was a huge amount of difference between most batches but the later batches did crystalise much quicker - which has spurred me into planning to make my own soft set honey this year.
If I extract from a colony at the same time then each extract from that hive is separately batched, sometimes I will notice light and dark honey as I uncap from different frames, in that case I will carry out two extractions and keep them separate.
Each colony is also separately batched, as a hobby beek I have the time to do so.

Jarred up two buckets this morning one amber in colour the other very dark and viscosity is different. So two contrasting honeys.
 

Niv 

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I will continue for at least a couple more seasons splitting to that degree but so far the biggest difference I have found is between apiaries and i do not mix different apiaries - so i do get a light and a dark honey.
 

BugsInABox 

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Uncap the sealed frames any uncapped on the same frame say 10/15% is likely to be ripe and can be extracted, just cells may not bee full enough for them to cap over. A quick test of BRIX will confirm, using a matchstick as a dipper try several cells (Note to BBKA they have other proper uses).
Other wise jiggle the frames at the hive and leave uncapped with bees, remove empty frames to accommodate them. Removing some to do so should be fine if they have room for forage to be ripened.
I'm interetsed in this - what is a BRIX test and what do yo look for on the matchstick?
 

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