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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY
    Posts
    81

    Default What to do with uncapped frames?

    I removed the last of my honey supers today. I had already extracted once and replaced the supers for a second harvest. After extracting the ripe frames, I still have alot of frames that are partially capped or filled with no capping at all. I would like to feed this back to the bees, but I put on my Apigaurd today and dont want to contaminate my frames by putting them back on the hive. I thought about open feeding far away from the hives? If I do this do I need to uncap the cells that are capped? The only problem I have with open feeding is the fact that I will be feeding the wasps and yellow jackets also (as well as other peoples bees perhaps). Would these frames be ok until my apiguard is off the hives? Could I extract this unripe honey and feed it back in top-feeders? It is alot of "honey" and I dont want it to go to waste.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Rosedale, IN
    Posts
    501

    Default

    Do you have a large enough freezer to keep them in? That will keep the nectar from fermenting & kill wax moth eggs too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY
    Posts
    81

    Default

    No I dont. But we have been needing to buy one.... If I were to freeze them, do I put them back in the spring and let them bees finish them, or put them on after treatment for the bees to use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Pilot Hill, Northern CA.
    Posts
    809

    Default

    Why not cut the capped comb and put it into a jar? There is a demand for comb honey. Take some of your previous harvest and pour into the new jars to fill them.

    I had a similar situation. I saved the capped stuff and put the rest of the uncapped frames back into the supers and put the supers about 300 feet from the hives to let the bees clean them out. There wasn't any misbeehaving between hive clans and the frames were clean in no time.

    I'm freezing the frames now, two at a time in the kitchen freezer. My wife is complaining about the dripped wax and honey on the kitchen floor.
    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    www.goldfinch-acres.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY
    Posts
    81

    Default

    I would but it is on wired foundation. I wish I had done more cut comb honey this year. Will bees rob out the capped cells too?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    You'll need to uncap the capped cells in order to get a nice clean uniform cleanup. If you leave them they will sometimes uncap them, but often they will not.
    Troy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Catlettsburg, KY
    Posts
    81

    Default

    Could I let them rob out the uncapped and harvest the capped that is left? Or will it absorb water while capped?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    796

    Default

    Do they need the additional stores based upon current hive weight? If yes, use a scratcher to open the capped cells and place the supe over the inner cover - they will move it down. This is also a good plan if you are unsure.

    If not, I would be more inclined to take the surplus. The capped portion could be used for cut comb/chunck honey (freeze it for 24 hours) or crush and strain. The uncapped and any or all of the capped can also be used to start a batch of mead - always my backup plan .
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,307

    Default Uncapped honey

    jd:

    Extract the honey. If there was a honeyflow when you pulled the honey there is a chance it is still green, but if the flow was over, the honey is ripe. The reason the bees did not cap it is because the honey flow ended. To understand the difference between nectar and honey try to shake the honey out of the frames. If it splashes out it is nectar, if it does not it is honey.

    Jean-Marc

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: What to do with uncapped frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBeeMan View Post
    , use a scratcher to open the capped cells and place the supe over the inner cover - they will move it down. This is also a good plan if you are unsure.
    Is there a risk of causing robbing by doing this?
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    Ralph

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Corvallis, OR
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: What to do with uncapped frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by ralittlefield View Post
    Is there a risk of causing robbing by doing this?
    Only if bees from other hives can get at the honey without going through the front entrance. Putting supers back on over the inner cover worked VERY well for me this year (completely cleaned in four days), but be sure that there are no top entrances, large cracks, ventilation holes, etc. that could let robbers in.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    717

    Default Re: What to do with uncapped frames?

    Here is something we did a year ago. Same problem with frames anywhere from 25 to 50% capped. We put them as is in the extractor and gave them a run at low speed. The uncapped cells spun out and we dumped that honey and nectar in separate pails and cleaned the extractor. We then uncapped the full cells and re spun them. A bit of messing around but it worked. It turned out that most of the uncapped stuff was fairly thick anyway and we refrigerated it and used it for cooking.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jo-Daviees County, ILL, USA
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: What to do with uncapped frames?

    I have found that the capped honey is removed just as rapidly as uncapped honey. I have never uncapped the capped honey, and it has always been cleaned out just as fast as the uncapped honey/necter.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,831

    Default Re: What to do with uncapped frames?

    I too am trying to get the bees to clean up boxes of uncapped honey by putting them above the inner cover hole, but its not working. There are a few bees up in the boxes hanging out, but they are not moving the honey down after many days. I read somewhere that it can help to put an empty box over the inner cover and then the box with the uncapped honey over that, but I have'nt tried that yet. John

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