Refractometer Sample question
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Refractometer Sample question

    I've never felt i needed a refractometer before this year as i've always been able to wait for the frames to be capped. This year some hives went on a capping strike. waited 3 weeks and no new nectar or capping. got sick of moving 80 pound deeps and supers so i extracted and its now in buckets.
    Question - is the whole bucket now mixed? I figure between mixing in the bottom of the extractor, the bucket catching the extraction, the filter, then the bucket is it mixed enough for me to sample anywhere and have a relatively accurate measurement? Or does the honey separate in the bucket by its brix? Would say a 20% honey float above a 14%?

    initial tests are hitting 14-15 but not sure if i need to do a deep dive
    Terrence

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,230

    Default Re: Refractometer Sample question

    I am sure your honey would have been well mixed. However if you let it set with loose or no lid in very humid conditions the very top layer could show a higher moisture reading.

    I dont think it will separate out otherwise with the exception of crystallization which can result in the liquid portion being higher water content.

    I definitely have seen the bees on the capping strike you mention, even though the honey is down to 17% moisture. It seems, from memory, that first year frames that are not drawn fat yet, makes the bees reluctant to cap. Where the cells are deep they start to cap sooner.
    Frank

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: Refractometer Sample question

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I am sure your honey would have been well mixed. However if you let it set with loose or no lid in very humid conditions the very top layer could show a higher moisture reading.

    I dont think it will separate out otherwise with the exception of crystallization which can result in the liquid portion being higher water content.

    I definitely have seen the bees on the capping strike you mention, even though the honey is down to 17% moisture. It seems, from memory, that first year frames that are not drawn fat yet, makes the bees reluctant to cap. Where the cells are deep they start to cap sooner.
    Thanks. really was strange. filled up 2 supers and mostly capped and left a deep and a super 3/4 cell full and no cap. not many bees on those frames working so figured they were done taking out moisture. Think i became a "sideliner" this year with over 1000 pounds of honey.
    Terrence

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bucks County PA
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Refractometer Sample question

    Alison has a refractometer and we actually rejected some frames of un-capped because of it while letting a few slide that were borderline, knowing things would get mixed up pretty well by the time she was done filtering and bottling. It's easy to use and worth having, IMHO.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

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