dark honey cap
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Thread: dark honey cap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    192

    Default dark honey cap

    Hi all,
    After all my issues initially w requeening both nucs, happy to see today both hives doing nicely. hive that was requeened 2 weeks ago has lots of E/L/capped brood (and queen) bottom deep, and about 50% foundation drawn in top deep. Other hive which was requeened about a 3 weeks ago has bottom deep same thing, top deep with queen, nearly every frame with central capped solid brood, E/L and surrounding honey cap. Question: in bottom deep of that hive (2nd hive), some of the honey, instead of that nice bright white cap had dark cap, almost translucent, color of honey. I didn't see destroyed cells. The hive did have several SHB that I smushed. Question: does older honey cap start to turn darker or is this sign of problem? Rest of hive looks good and I added a super. (didn't add an excluder based on advice here.. when do I add that-- once they've drawn those frames?).

    thanks

    brad

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,119

    Default Re: dark honey cap

    What's blooming there now? Different color nectar/honey in different hives just means they are hitting different sources. Yellow poplar makes a reddish honey down here, a little dark but a pretty color. Also if the cappings are "wet" the honey may look a little darker than "dry" cappings. Wet cappings means the honey touches them, dry capping have a small air space under the cappings, leaving them drier.

    Put the excluder on after most of the frames are drawn and your bees have started filling them.

    You don't have a problem with the honey. Some honey will turn darker as it ages but if you keep it out of sunlight and at a stable temperature, it won't darken as fast as in a hotter, light filled area.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: dark honey cap

    Thanks,

    Other than the poplars I'm not sure what else is blooming. They're bringing in so many different colors I think there is a bunch of different things (is there a good source to find out what blooms/flow dates by region?).

    Thanks- so I was looking at "wet" cappings. It just looked odd since everything else is clean white "dry" cappings. Appreciate the explanation.

    Brad

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,548

    Default Re: dark honey cap

    There are two kinds of honey capping done by bees; one is a wet capping and the other is dry capping. Depends on the type of honey bee. The dry capping has a small amount of air between the honey and the wax, which looks so appealing as comb honey. The wet capping is the bees lay the wax right on top of the honey, so looks darker and not as appealing. BUT, both are delicious as cut comb. Deb
    Proverbs 16:24

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Good to know, and I thought all capped honey was alike. I think I learn something new about bees every time I go into the hives

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,119

    Default Re: dark honey cap

    To find out what's blooming in PA, using the search function, search the threads for your state name. Usually there are threads for several states that list bloom dates and/or swarm dates. Various folks have entered the dates they observed trees or flowers blooming in their area. Same for the swarm threads, the dates for swarms in various areas within a state.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: dark honey cap

    As bees walk over the fresh white capped honey, they will track more and more dirt over the combs, darkening it as it ages. You will often find older capped honey in the broodnest that is dark brown. Capped honey in the super never sticks around long enough to darken. Just a bit of dirt, nothing to worry about.
    Ask two beekeepers, get three answers

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    192

    Default

    Thanks all for the helpful info and reassurance

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