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do bees eat the nectar before it converts to honey?

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Basic question I've been wondering. Bees doing their thing and bringing in nectar. Lots of open cells with clear nectar. Do the bees eat this before its completely converted to honey or do they eat capped honey only? The NEW hives I have, have far more nectar than honey so I would THINK they would eat the nectar to save on stored honey but....inquiring minds want to know! Thanks.
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Yes they eat nectar first. After they ripen the nectar down to about 17% moisture content they will cap it. During the ripening it can get moved around many times.
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