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Terry 

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Back in July we took off a medium super that had been on the hive for 6 wks.
We replaced it with another medium super. After about a week on careful inspection and a lot of reading we realized the super wasn't fully capped. At that time we put it back on the hive under the other medium we had added assuming the bees would finish capping it. 6 wks. later both medium supers are about 90% full of honey, but not much capping has taken place. We live in an extremely dry climate ,but are concerned about extracting unripened honey. What could be the reason for the honey not being capped? We have only a few weeks till frost, please advise what to do. There are 3 standard supers full for the bees to have for the winter food supply.
 

JCBrum 

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Extremely dry climate ??? ....... uk location ??? ........

You could consider a refractometer perhaps ...... but I expect the bees know what they're doing.

A few warm days are probably all you really need.
 

Terry 

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We're in southwest colorado---This was my first post--no refractometer--but may get one--
 

Finman 

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. 6 wks. later both medium supers are about 90% full of honey, but not much capping has taken place. .
Bees will cap the honey when cells are full.

Choose most capped frames and take away least full frames.

Idea is that you put outside the least honey frames and bees rob the honey and get full the one .

They have enough honey to rob and fill brood frames too and cap them. Extract capped brood franes too and then feed full of sugar.
 

JCBrum 

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Ahh right, Welcome Terry, I hadn't picked up that you are in the US, I thought your avatar panel on the left said uk. Perhaps it did at first, but I see it now says Southwest US.

Finman's advice sounds good to me, he's a very experienced beekeeper.

In case any confirmation is required, he is saying take some of the frames from the supers - choose the least capped ones - and put them outside the hive.

The bees will then move the honey back into the hive and fill up and cap the remaining cells.

I don't know what it's like exactly in Colorado at the moment, and what insects you have there ? .... But, if I took Finman's advice here in the UK at the moment, I think I would be inundated with wasps (US=yellow jackets ?) and that would be a big problem.

We have to put out traps and kill as many as we can to avoid them getting in the hives, and killing the bees.
 

Terry 

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Thanks for advice. We do have a lot of wasps here this year. I was afraid to put out traps in case they would get the bees also. Is my concern warranted? Our weather now is high-80's to low 90's daily, frost is still a few weeks away. I guess what I'm asking also is if they never get it capped , then what?
 

GingerNut 

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Wasps traps are for catching wasps, you will propably get the odd bee in there, but less loss than the wasps will kill.

There are various recipies around, search for 'wasps' on this forum and there are quite a few threads discussing them.

Yours Roy
 

Terry 

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Thanks,Roy, I've been told the only stupid question is one that isn't asked. Now I see I should have asked about wasp traps months ago!
 

Rosti 

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I was afraid to put out traps in case they would get the bees also. Is my concern warranted?
Terry, when you bait your trap with liquid e.g. out of date orange juice, drop in a grape or small piece of 'skin on' soft fruit. It will quickly cause fermentation and the bees won't be interested, hopefully you'll just have a crop of nice juicy jaspers with the odd fly for flavour
 

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