Uncapped Super Frames

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grizzly 

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I took a few Supers off a couple of hives today, i have been told it is ok to extract "uncapped" frames as long as when shaken hard the honey does not drip out. (is this true ?)

two thirds are capped, but there are a few which are not, i have them in my living room at the moment, how quickly will the honey in the uncapped cells absorb moisture ?

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Andy
 

victor meldrew 

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The usual method of ascertaining the ripeness of honey is to give comb a good shake.
If you want to take the guess work out of the job, buy a honey refractometer. 20 quid inc p and p from hongkong on ebay . good quality, simple to use :).

John Wilkinson
 

Poly Hive 

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That's it in a nutshell, and if you are even thinking of selling some honey are refractometer is essential as apart from anything else it can save you money.

PH
 

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If it's rape honey, that may not be such a good idea Finman. Not up to your normal standard of advice. Perhaps I misread you?

I believe that you may mean "UNTIL they are capped". I read it as, "They are capped, leave them", which is why I commented as I did.

It's a language thing that sometimes spoils your good advice by leaving a 180 degree shift in the meaning for the unwary.
 
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JCBrum 

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I took Finman to mean leave them in the hive till they are capped.
 

Hombre 

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I agree that is what he probably meant. It wasn't what he said and there are new members that would be confused and fail to make the distinction that is apparent to both of us and others.
Thanks. (I'm a B65 beekeeper)
PS I have no Finnish language skills and admire the advice, tempered with occasional frustrations of Finman.
 

grizzly 

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will get hold of a refractometer to test first, as i would like to sell this batch.
 

bobandbec 

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I have always removed to extract when the nectar/honey does not come out of the frames when given a very, very hard shake, both sides. If it does put it back into the colony for "maturing"/capping. This is particularly relevant if rape, mustard etc is in evidence as contributing to the source for the bees. Never had any problem with water content.

Peter
 

grizzly 

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Well thats what i thought, i also read it somewhere also.

Those frames that are either uncapped or partly uncapped i have shaken, nowt is dripping.
Its certainly more solid than last years.
 

Finman 

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Hi guys, don't teach duck to swim.
my main yield comes from rape . I move even 2 times from rape field to rape field.
Now it is early summer and bees fill cells and cap them.
if some frame is crystallized, i put it between brood frames and mobilize the stuff.

i have had rape fields 30 years and never extracted uncapped honey. I do not own refractor because i need not.
I do not pick raw apples either.
 

Finman 

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Dont encourage beginners to extract uncapped honey. The system is that there is always capped and uncapped honey. If you have one super capped, you need 2 box more where bees dry up the nectar.
When you add boxes, add always emty combs between brood and nectar. so the most filled combs will be highest.

if bees do not have enouh room for new nectar, they will swarm.
 

grizzly 

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Well i tested the uncapped portions of the supers, 15%, so i have extracted.

I do see your point Finman, and would prefer to have the bees cap it all, but sometimes they just take too long, or if a flow stops they can leave uncapped.
 
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bombus 

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Finman, you said

" if some frame is crystallized, i put it between brood frames and mobilize the stuff."

Can you explain this a little bit further please, it sounds interesting.

bombus
 

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Bees try to keep brood area as solid ball. They consume pollen and honey around brood area and enlarge it.

In heavy nectar frow they store in every place the yield and arrange later the brood area.

In heavy nectarflow bees continue filling old honey and cap them. If cells have crystals, they will remain inside honey. That causes problems at least in sieving.

OK, when you have totally or partly crystallized frames, put those to the hive when day is rainy or bad and bees do not get yield.

OPTIONS:

1) When you put the frame between larva frames, bees clean a part of it and the queen lays there. Sooner or later they widden the brood area in frame and move the honey. Same happnes if you have old winter stores.

2) If you have a swarm or false swarm, you may put 3 totally crystallized frames into the hive and foundations the rest . In few days bees have cleaned the old frames for brooding and foundations have drawn nicely.

3) When you add foundations to the hive
Put into the box crystallized frames and foundations. Put queen into the box and excluder. First bees clean the old frames and move the old honey.

4) Nowadays when I put extracted combs to the hive, they have much crystalls. I give a water mist on both sides from garden host or from spray bottle. It helps bees because they need not to carry so much diluting water from outside. That works quickly.

5) If you have time, put uncapped crystallized into the hive. Bees lick part of honey away. Next day add water into cells and so bees clean even bad combs quickly.

DON'T!!!! put the crystallized combs outside. Bees destroy combs quickly and part of sugar will drop to the ground.

I have handled this way hundred of kilos full boxes. It is not nice job but I do not panic with rape honey.

.
 
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Finman 

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Heather honey and honey dew are those too which are partly difficult to ectract.
Is it better to break combs or let them be? Combs are valuable and leave them next year and bees will clean combs. No problem this way.
 

Wendy122 

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Morning (Rubbing my eyes)

I need to wake up this morning I posted my reply to this in another thread and wrote about 2 treads at once. :)

I hate extracting comb which has set. My bee friend who has OSR this year seems to spend hours scraping down solid frames to the mid rib when he has been caught out on the rape.

I see exactly where Finman is coming from and the water spray certainly works with solid honey. I used the method on some solid ivy and the bees cleaned it up like new. Let the bees do the work and reprocess the solid comb. They will do it better than we do. It is just they take longer to do it than we impatient beekeepers want.

W
 

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It is just they take longer to do it than we impatient beekeepers want.

W

You understand me but I don't understand you. Hive has allways more uncapped honey than capped. Bees bring honey whole summer along and capp it when cells become full. I hope that I get 5 supers capped honey per hive. When I have 200 kg capped honey, I start to extract.

If I handle small amout of honey I get only my handling process greased with honey.



You panic with rape honey and teach beginners your hesitations: "if you do not extract it at once, it will stay in the hive".

Horse poo.... When rape honey is capped, I have 2-3 weeks time to extract it. After that i have only difficulties to sieve it.

But if you take the honey away from hive's heat, it will crystallize in cold store quickly.

Our climate is colder and the honey can be handled normally. But we have too those beekeeprs which prefer to dry upp the honey in the warmer than in the hive.

Longer?


You nurse hives whole year 52 weeks and then you have not time to wait one week that they capp the honey.........hah hah...nonsence.
 
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