Managing uncapped frames in supers

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Joined
Jul 31, 2023
Messages
15
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3
Location
Surrey, UK
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
4
Did an inspection today. All hives were really defensive. Nothing else out of the ordinary so wondered if this happens when the nectar flow dries up? There has been some pollen coming in recently but nothing really in the last couple of days. Probably spent far too long inspecting them and not getting the hint!
There are two supers on which are mostly part capped, with the odd capped frame. I plan to leave a single super on each hive over the winter.
My question is how to manage this. I am happy to take any mostly capped frames to extract but this will not amount to a full super per hive leaving me with more than a supers worth of uncapped frames. What is the best way to manage the other partially capped frames? Can I put this super under the brood box with some part capped frames so they take the stores up to the brood box (which are currently very light on stores).
I’m sure the answer is already in the forum but struggling to find it.
Thanks for any help.
 
Did an inspection today. All hives were really defensive. Nothing else out of the ordinary so wondered if this happens when the nectar flow dries up? There has been some pollen coming in recently but nothing really in the last couple of days. Probably spent far too long inspecting them and not getting the hint!
There are two supers on which are mostly part capped, with the odd capped frame. I plan to leave a single super on each hive over the winter.
My question is how to manage this. I am happy to take any mostly capped frames to extract but this will not amount to a full super per hive leaving me with more than a supers worth of uncapped frames. What is the best way to manage the other partially capped frames? Can I put this super under the brood box with some part capped frames so they take the stores up to the brood box (which are currently very light on stores).
I’m sure the answer is already in the forum but struggling to find it.
Thanks for any help.
The easy way. take the lot off, spin out the capped frames and anything with a good refractometer reading. Decant into a settling tank. Spin off everything else and feed back in rapid feeders as needed. Some will feel you should feed to the hive they came from but if they are all in the same apiary I wouldn't worry.
 
I leave supers on till about the 14th then they come off.
Same as Eric, I feed back the honey not fit for keeping . Generally if not at least 18.5% it goes back at around this time of the summer as feed.
 
For many years very few had refractometers…..if you shake the combs and it didn’t come out it’s good enough.
I’d suggest once mixed in with capped honey you’re unlikely to have issues.

Use your common sense..check the majority is capped, shake test the rest.
Worked well for many for years!!!!!!!
 
For many years very few had refractometers…..if you shake the combs and it didn’t come out it’s good enough.
I’d suggest once mixed in with capped honey you’re unlikely to have issues.

Use your common sense..check the majority is capped, shake test the rest.
Worked well for many for years!!!!!!!
Except that I did an experiment this year and shook tested a load of frames. They passed the shake test but were over 20% water content. Depends on the nectar and its viscosity. For the sake of £25 for a refractometer is it worth a load of fermented honey. The best most recenbt bit of kit that we have started to use in my opinion. I always test the first and last jars out of the settling tank and the difference can be amazing!!
 
Did a spring crop this year for the first time and had a lot of uncapped frames in supers but did the shake test and only extracted the ones that didn’t shake out. The ones that failed the shake test were put back on the hive. Ended up with around 19% water content in all 3 of the buckets which I thought was a bit high but checking the regulations as long as it’s less than 20 percent you can sell it as honey. Jarred it all up (has now crystallised) but still tastes fine. Should I be worried it’s going to ferment at some point ?
 
I feed back as it is, why make them spend more time trying to reduce the moisture that they have already almost expelled via drying.
 
My preference is a min max of 18.5% and I don't rely on the previous days/weeks calibration, I callibrate with each use .
 
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Did a spring crop this year for the first time and had a lot of uncapped frames in supers but did the shake test and only extracted the ones that didn’t shake out. The ones that failed the shake test were put back on the hive. Ended up with around 19% water content in all 3 of the buckets which I thought was a bit high but checking the regulations as long as it’s less than 20 percent you can sell it as honey. Jarred it all up (has now crystallised) but still tastes fine. Should I be worried it’s going to ferment at some point ?
No……..
 
At 19% one needs to ensure the honey is mixed thoroughly together, if there is any higher % honey in the mix one does run the chance of fermentation during storage.
I usually out the highest % honey to sell first .
 
Did a spring crop this year for the first time and had a lot of uncapped frames in supers but did the shake test and only extracted the ones that didn’t shake out. The ones that failed the shake test were put back on the hive. Ended up with around 19% water content in all 3 of the buckets which I thought was a bit high but checking the regulations as long as it’s less than 20 percent you can sell it as honey. Jarred it all up (has now crystallised) but still tastes fine. Should I be worried it’s going to ferment at some point ?
Controversial here.....any honey can ferment if the natural yeasts are high. That is what I have found any way, it stands less chance the lower the water content but..... I always keep a small jar of any batch. If anyone should return one I can check to see what mine has done! That is also why I only put a years best before date on. For some reason since I moved to Somerset I have had all sorts of fermentation problems. Never ever anywhere else!
 
Of course once it granulated the still-liquid part will have a higher water content than the overall initial concentration. So presumably granulated honey is more likely to ferment (apart from high initial water content "honey").
 
Wife recently had a kitchen clear out. Found a half full jar of crystallised honey, with 1/4 inch of liquid honey on top, which was fermenting. As it crystallises it releases water.
Never a problem with soft set
 
Wife recently had a kitchen clear out. Found a half full jar of crystallised honey, with 1/4 inch of liquid honey on top, which was fermenting. As it crystallises it releases water.
Never a problem with soft set
Interesting observation re soft set as the partition into low water crystals and higher water liquid must still occur, just with smaller crystals.
Maybe soft-setting only works for low water honey?
 
Interesting observation re soft set as the partition into low water crystals and higher water liquid must still occur, just with smaller crystals.
Maybe soft-setting only works for low water honey?
Soft set can “separate“ without fermenting - if stored in very warm conditions, for example in a shop window in the sun.
2C1229A5-9568-4A78-B69E-44A4A16B2ED3.jpeg
Here’s a couple from last year that will be fed to the bees next month. The lower section is still soft set, just a little harder, whilst the top section is very runny.
 

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