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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lucasville, OH, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    WBVC,

    This is my first year as a beekeeper as well. The issue isn't that the honey is uncapped, the issue is that capped honey is the colony's stock for surviving the winter. No capped honey, no bees come spring. It's been a big concern this year, at least in the club we belong to. The summer wasn't very good for honey in our area. We're feeding in the hopes that will help them build up enough stores to survive on.

    Regards,
    Tom

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,258

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    Sorry...can't the bees utilize uncapped honey? Is there risk of it fermenting at low temperatures? Won't they simply cap it if/ when it is ready or use as is?
    Janne....first hives April 2013, 19 hives, treat, plant zone 8b, at sea level, latitude 49.13, longitude 123.06

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Lucasville, OH, USA
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    Uncapped honey is (and if I'm wrong, someone will correct me) isn't actually honey yet--it's processed nectar that is being dehydrated to lower the moisture content before capping. Yes, I'm sure they can use it but the thing is that the bees process the nectar and work on making it into honey that can be capped as it comes in if there is enough coming in to be able to build up stores. Will uncapped honey (nectar) go bad? Yes, I'm sure it can. Consider the capping to be akin to humans canning food. Until we put the lid on and go through the sealing process the food is vulnerable. It's not considered part of the winter stores until the process has been completed.

    Capped honey is food for the bees that they don't currently need to use--a surplus. If you don't have capped honey, it means there hasn't been a surplus of nectar--the bees have been using most of the nectar as it comes in. Just like with humans and canning food (before there were grocery stores and the means to ship in food from all over the world) not having enough of a crop to create a surplus for canning or capping means the likelihood of surviving winter (depending on where you are and what winter is like) will be low.

    Regards,
    Tom

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bucks county, pennsylvania, usa
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    i'm told they can and will eat uncapped honey, i just wonder if it will ferment over winter or if cool temps. will inhibit fermentation.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Anderson, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    many here in Indiana are talking about little or no winter stores..flows were minimal this year and bees have to eat too. They consumed and fed to young what they brought in. One problem we have when feeding later in the year is they may not get it dried and capped well..going into winter with wet stores can cause humidity and moisture..so I have been told???

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bucks county, pennsylvania, usa
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    finally my bees are getting things together. there is about 10 bars capped honey per hive. i guess the damp summer kept the honey from curing. i'm feeding now to add more stores to the hive. hopefully they will be ok for the winter. i will insulate and do a wind break in the near future. it was 41 here this morning. winter is coming

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeedad View Post
    finally my bees are getting things together. there is about 10 bars capped honey per hive. i guess the damp summer kept the honey from curing. i'm feeding now to add more stores to the hive. hopefully they will be ok for the winter. i will insulate and do a wind break in the near future. it was 41 here this morning. winter is coming
    Are you using hay bales for a wind break? I'm thinking I should probably do that.

    When do you plan to stop feeding syrup and "winterize"? I put in the last bowl of syrup today. I blocked off 1 entrance, but they still have two more. I also bought pink foam insulation today. I'm going to put in the candy board and follower boards, foam insulation, and reduce entrance to 1 hole next weekend. Temps have been crazy here in SE PA. I'm wondering if it is finally going to stay cold.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: no capped honey in either tbh. we are in trouble

    What is a comfortable number of bars of honey that they bees need to make it through the winter. I'm a first year TBH beekeeper and my bees have 10 to 12 bars of capped honey going into mid-Fall here. I don't see any more nectar available this year but they're still hauling in pollen.
    I could write a book about what I don't know.

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