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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,217

    Default The shake method versus all capped.

    I couldn't think of a better way to title it. I have done some reading and seen that you shouldn't extract a frame unless it is 85-90% capped, and does not shed nectar when you shake it.
    I am going to have another extraction run on Wednesday because my bees are going nuts and I have all my mediums on the hives. I was wondering what most people do? I have little experience judging % capped and am thinking about just extracting completely capped frames. I would rather not risk diluting the whole run for the sake of a few frames that could be extracted at the end of the season. Any thoughts anyone?
    Adrian.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: The shake method versus all capped.

    Hard to say, as I just took a frame (fully capped) the honey tested at 20% water, which is too high.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,958

    Default Re: The shake method versus all capped.

    I don't buy the shake method. I have a refractometer and have tested 20%+ honey that didn't shake out. Now if the other 80% of the honey is 16%, the shake method probably has some validity as it wouldn't bring the average above the allowable moisture content.

    But if you use the shake method for all of your honey, I believe you are asking for trouble. I live in a area with fairly low humidity (except when it rains). This means that it is fairly easy for my bees to dry the honey. My capped honey is always 15.5-17.5%. The open honey on frames that are 75% capped is usually around 17-18%.

    At the end of the flow when they can't fill up cells of already drawn comb, they won't cap those. This is the reason that I got the refractometer. I would have quite a few frames of completely uncapped honey, but they couldn't get it out to the top of the cells so they wouldn't cap it. It is possible that they would have eventually consolidated the honey and capped some, but I only extract once so waiting was a hassle. I noticed that none of the uncapped frames that I didn't extract and kept over winter fermented.

    If you live in an area of high humidity, I think that a refractometer would be an important tool.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,758

    Default Re: The shake method versus all capped.

    If you only extract the capped frames, what will you do w/the ones that aren't fully capped, put them back on the hives? Otherwise they won't get dried down and then what will you do w/ them?
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,217

    Default Re: The shake method versus all capped.

    Thanks guys. The stuff that doesn't get capped at the end of the season will be good for making mead. In the meantime I'm hoping they just finish them off.
    Adrian.

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