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Frames above brood chamber partly uncapped

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Hi folks,

I have one very strong hive (queen mated in May and her mother who she superseded both laying away) and I have noticed that in the super above the brood chamber (and excluder) there is an arc of honey that the bees seem not to want to cap - pretty much the same arc shape you would see with brood and stores in a brood frame. Lovely capped honey at the top and sides of the frame and an arc of filled but uncapped cells. I am guessing this is because the bees want a store for easy access close to the brood - correct? When it comes to the end of the season will they eventually ripen this as laying rate throttles back? Keen to know if I can ever extract it or will just include it as part of the feeding process at the end of the season? Wet weather here lately so if the brood box is full of brood, I guess a nearby store make sense!

Your guidance gratefully received as ever!

Cheers,

Chris.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Hi folks,

I have one very strong hive (queen mated in May and her mother who she superseded both laying away) and I have noticed that in the super above the brood chamber (and excluder) there is an arc of honey that the bees seem not to want to cap - pretty much the same arc shape you would see with brood and stores in a brood frame. Lovely capped honey at the top and sides of the frame and an arc of filled but uncapped cells. I am guessing this is because the bees want a store for easy access close to the brood - correct? When it comes to the end of the season will they eventually ripen this as laying rate throttles back? Keen to know if I can ever extract it or will just include it as part of the feeding process at the end of the season? Wet weather here lately so if the brood box is full of brood, I guess a nearby store make sense!

Your guidance gratefully received as ever!

Cheers,

Chris.
They frequently leave honey near the brood nest uncapped as a ready store, especially if forage is sparse (what's the point of going to the effort of capping if you think you will shortly be using it)
When it comes to harvesting, I've often found the honey to be perfectly ripe with a low water content.
 
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They frequently leave honey near the brood nest uncapped as a ready store, especially if forage is sparse (what's the point of going to the effort of capping if you think you will shortly be using it)
When it comes to harvesting, I've often found the honey to be perfectly ripe with a low water content.
Thanks Emyr! Makes sense.
 

drex 

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I find that if a frame is 2/3 capped it is fine to extract the whole frame. I will test the uncapped with refractometer first though
 

oliver90owner 

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High water content stocks will ferment. Bees will reduce the water content to below the fermentation point if it is being stored for several days. The ‘shake’ test can give a good indication of water content. If nectar has been added recently, some cells might contain just that, so to an extent it may depend on available forage at the time of considering removal for extraction.
 
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I find that if a frame is 2/3 capped it is fine to extract the whole frame. I will test the uncapped with refractometer first though
Yep, I tend to fid that too - this time it appears that some of the uncapped is higher in moisture as they are using the uncapped portion above the brood as a rotating store!
 

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