When is it safe to extract the honey from the frames? Must all of the cells be capped? I have heard that all must be capped or the honey will ferment. Then I heard that only fifty percent must be capped. Which is correct? Thanks, Tom
Tom, Not all the honey needs to be capped to harvest it. As far as the percentage, ???. All I have ever been told and when helping harvest is that most of it should be. I would lean a little more towards 75%. Yes, you do need to keep the moisture down or it may ferment. If the majority is capped then the moisture level is probably low.
I figure two thirds of the honey needs to be capped, though late in the season, sometimes they will just quit capping honey, and half may not be capped.
But there is a more important test. Before you take off the supers, take a couple frames with a lot of open cells. Hold each above the super and give a quick hard shake. If nectar flies out, you need to wait until the bees get the honey dried better. If all the cell contents stay, it is ripe enough, presuming as previously said that two thirds or so of the total frames to be done, is capped.