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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Brunswick, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    185

    Post

    Hi,
    Question? how long does it take the bees to cap honey that is in the frames.I have collected 48 pounds of honey on July 10, I put a deep super on and the two empty medium supers i extracted . Went in there 3 days ago and the one medium is 3/4 full the second medium is 1/2 full and the deep is completed full and capped. Its unbelieveiable. I thought we were having a draught , how long will it take them to cap the two medium supers .and should i keep putting supers on after i extract . Thank you Walt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,523

    Lightbulb

    Walt -

    Keep giving them supers as long as they keep filling them. Be aware of your area and know when the flows usually end. It's near impossible to judge the size and timing of honey flows based solely on the weather. Capping time can also vary depending on several variables. Keep an eye on them and you will know soon enough when they cap them.

    Regards,
    Barry

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    I would say how long depends on the weather, the honey flow etc. When the weather is dry and the honey flow is heavy not long. When it's damp and there's not much honey flow, it takes longer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Waynesville, NC
    Posts
    42

    Post

    Here's a crazy question. I had two supers on my hive. When I harvested a full one a few weeks ago, the other was almost full. I added another full of foundation. The main honey flow of sourwood was about over, but they were still bringing it in. About a week later I checked on the super that was almost full, and it was full and about half capped. I moved on top of the new one in anticipation of harvesting shortly. About ten days after that I checked it, and it seemed that it hadn't been capped any more, but the new foundation under it was being drawn out nicely. Did I mess up by putting the new foundation under it before it was fully capped? If the nectar flow has slowed dramatically will the bees use existing stores to draw out the new foundation? Should I pull the super with the new foundation and allow the other to be capped, or will this crowd the bees too much? The hive is really strong.

    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    Personally, I think you're worrying too much. If they never get it all capped, it's still drying and the fact that they have capped half of it would indicate it's about ripe. I'd pull it when the sourwood flow drys up, because you want to keep that wonderful stuff seperate. If you think it's too thin, let it set a few days in a well ventilated place and dry up some more.

    It might have been better timing to leave the empty one on top but it's more a matter of timing than of bad stratedgy. I probably would have done the same thing as you did.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Waynesville, NC
    Posts
    42

    Smile

    Thanks for the advice Michael. I'll go ahead and harvest it this weekend, capped or not.

    Rick

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    West Harrison, NY, USA
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Hi,

    I have heard and read that a super is ready for harvesting only if about 90% of the cells are capped. Otherwise, you are inviting fermentation from mixing in too much unripe honey. From some of what I read here, even half capped frames are ready to be extracted, the argument presumably beeing that the uncapped are almost there anyway. How true is this?
    I just extracted the honey from my single hive (I just started this year with one hive ... I know I know, most will say that is silly but ...) and some frames were not capped to 90% and I worried. I still extracted them, but thought I should have put those frames back in the hive for the bee's consumption. Then, I wonder, will the bees move it down to the 2 deep bodies where they will winter? In this neck of the woods, it gets quite chilly in the winter and I understand you can't keep a super on top of your 2 brood/food hive bodies. So, what does one do with uncapped honey at the end of the season when you just have to extract it?

    Thanks

    jorge

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    If it's 85% capped I don't worry about it. If it's less and it's more convienient to go ahead and pull it I'll let it set for a week or so to dry out. I make sure there is ventilation running through the supers. If it's barely capped or not at all and the bees obviously aren't going to cap it because the flow is over and they are ignoring it, I'll take that and wait for it to dry out. you can stick a toothpick or whatever in a cell and see how watery it is. It should be the consistensy of capped honey before you exctract it. Capping is just an easy indication, but sometimes they never get around to it. Probably yours will be fine, but it depends on how watery it was.

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