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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I suppose that not 100% frames surface is full of honey and always will be some cells with nectar when taking to extraction.

Is there any general rule to the frame surface capped honey precent i have to reach, so i can take it to extraction?

Thank you
Randi
 

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The rules are indeed VERY general. I like to see 85% or more of the surface capped. However, sometimes the nectar is cured...the cells aren't full and the bees haven't capped yet. If I think that I have a lot of honey..not just nectar, I'll take a frame and swish it through the air towards the ground. If the honey stays in the cells, I'll extract it. If not...well, a lot of it's now on the ground so it goes back into the hive! If I do end up extracting quite a few frames with uncapped cells, I always check the final mix with a refractometer to make sure. I've never, ever had a problem with honey too moist but I am pretty careful about leaving any potentially uncured frames in the hives, even if I consolidate them into a single hive and let the bees have at them going into the fall.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ravenseye, you helped me with this detailed answer.

Just didn't understand what the problem with leaving uncured frames in the hive.
Maybe, i don't understand the meaning of "uncured nectar" - is it dry nectar??

Thank you
Randi
 

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i have always refered to uncapped nectar as "uncured" good luck,mike
 

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My mistake...should have explained more. Uncured means nectar with a high water / moisture content. The bee's "cure" nectar into honey and during that process, the moisture content is reduced considerably. Hence, swishing frames to see how liquid the nectar is. When nectar is cured into honey, it doesn't readily come out of the cells which is why you need to spin it or crush it out when you are harvesting honey. The reason to leave uncured honey in the hive is so that the bees can continue to reduce the moisture content as well as add more stores. You also don't want the high moisture nectar to dilute your harvested honey.

Does that help?
 

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An on-topic question. If Randi, or I, wanted to buy a Refractometer, is the best choice the $300 dollar type or are any of the cheaper ones accurate and easy to use - recommendations?
 

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I don't recall the model I have at home but it's a sub $100 unit that seems to work just fine. I only use if for honey so for me, that's a plus as I don't need many advanced features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can you please refer me to a Refractometer company & model that you are using?

Thanks
Randi
 

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I don't have a refractometer, but I saw a post here/there? where a guy was real happy with his $30 ebay import. I'm guessing a manual one with less to fail is better than a cheap digital. Then, if you use it often, it could then serve as a back-up to a faster more expensive one.
 

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I would check out e-bay. I don't think I got mine there but what I did get was pretty similar. If I have time to find it, I'll give you the details. It's all stored away until this fall.
 
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