Rape extraction

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Joined
Sep 7, 2015
Messages
802
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Location
East Yorkshire
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
16
Any one started extraction yet for ‘Rape honey’, ie any yet at 18%… it’s a balancing act between getting it extracted before setting hard but being 18% or less water content. Not heard the bees ‘humming’ yet to reduce water content or smelling it too!
Last year I extracted here in East Yorks from 25th May, much of it uncapped , obviously differs from year to year .
 
harvested about 40lbs over the weekend from 4 hives. All frames would have failed shake test, but I didn't want to leave it anymore as it was starting to partially crystalize in the comb. It came out off scale of the refractometer I have (30%), but was cloudy from fine crystals after filtration so this might have impacted readout. After 8 hrs in the oven at 40C, its down at 24% and still very runny.
Not worth effort of shifting hives onto the OSR at this site and extractor set up / clean down, but its a new permanent site that I think has promise for future.
 
Are you sure your refractometer is calibrated correctly? Very strange that OSR honey with water reading of 30% is crystallising. I've never known any honey with water content of 30%!
 
Starting to cap off frames here in Sunny Suffolk but no real rush to start extracting. Colonies are strong so keeping things nice and warm even though the weather has changed. Next round of inspections may start moving outside frames in just to finish off and then start extracting week after next. Oil seed rape still in full bloom in places, hawthorn and horse chestnut still out. Red horse chestnut just coming out. Pollen/nectar mixes in good order.
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Starting to cap off frames here in Sunny Suffolk but no real rush to start extracting. Colonies are strong so keeping things nice and warm even though the weather has changed. Next round of inspections may start moving outside frames in just to finish off and then start extracting week after next. Oil seed rape still in full bloom in places, hawthorn and horse chestnut still out. Red horse chestnut just coming out. Pollen/nectar mixes in good order.
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Glad to read your state play not far from me. Isn't the season late this year! One one occasion a few years ago I extracted the first OSR at the end of April, usually it's in the first two weeks of May with some comb beginning to crystallise. This year capping is only half complete with no threat of crystallisation.
 
Are you sure your refractometer is calibrated correctly? Very strange that OSR honey with water reading of 30% is crystallising. I've never known any honey with water content of 30%!
with the poor weather and nectar flow, what little the was in the combs before it warmed up had started to crystalize in the center of the combs. With the decent temperatures in the week before extraction, bees bought in raw nectar which hadn't been ripened to honey, and failed shake test, so damned if I left it and damned if I harvested. You are right, its not honey at 30%. I'll probably finish drying and then feed back to nucs and queen raisers when I start grafting at the weekend.
 
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