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Not all my honey is capped

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dmm 

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Hi,

I've been away for the last three weeks, and came back expecting to be able to harvest the honey. However, only about 2/3 of the comb has been capped. I'm a 'new-bee'; I know I can't harvest it until it's capped, but if it isn't capped at this point, will it ever be? Also, they weren't kind enough to cap 2/3 of the frames; instead about 1/3 of each frame isn't capped.

Help!

Thank you!
 

oliver90owner 

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dmm,

I know I can't harvest it until it's capped

Who said that?

Of course you can. You just have to be careful. Depends why it is not fully capped, depends on what type of nectar it is derived from, etc.

You maybe need to sort out what you meant to say in your opening post!

Regards, RAB
 

jean 

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but if it isn't capped at this point, will it ever be?

The bees won't normally cap a cell of honey until it's full. This doesn't mean that the honey in the uncapped cell doesn't have the correct water content.
 

oliver90owner 

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dmm,

I read your post again and this time made sense of it.

Was just getting ready for leaving for 'burgly 'orse trials' at the time. Rest were waiting on me.

My post wasn't quite accurate/comprehensive either.

A quick shake of the frame (over the hive) will normally demonstrate if there is unripe honey as droplets will fall out. This is a trick often used for OSR honey, when wanting to extract before it crystallises on the hive (earlier in the year).

It's rarely a problem when you have lots of honey to go at - just a pain with just one or two colonies and this late in the season.

It would be capped eventually, even if not filled, ready for the winter. Puzzle for the beekeeper is when to get honey off and when to feed. That is why most do it early and many are adamant as to the seasonal timings for doing these things. Things have changed over recent years and we have seen some silly seasons.

Gaz Fella was posting last month on how he spins out the un-ripe honey gently and then afterwards uncaps and spins out the ripe honey, the un-ripe being fed back to the bees.

Probably a difficult option for a new beek but it is an extra tip for the regulars with just a few hives in a poor year. I reckon it is likely mostly all OK, unless the bees are starting to get a fresh nectar flow, in which case it would soon be capped.

Location would also be important to be able to make a decent suggestion in your case - the southerners and the northerners can easily be a month difference on timings!

Regards, RAB
 

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