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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, all,

I was just wondering how long this usually takes, on average.

Regards,
Thomas
 

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Lots of variables there. Bee population, amount of nectar source, percentage of saturated sugar in that source, distance from source to hive, and favorable wind and weather are the main factors. Apple nectar is a big five percent saturated sugar. It is going to take a lot of dehydrating. Some of the legumes push 60%. I have seen a strong colony fill a deep super in less than a week on alfalfa during those 18 hour North Dakota days. Canola can do the same. I am sure some of the trees can produce prodigious amounts of nectar. Those optimum conditions unfortunately do not last long anyway, but those are the high end pipe dreams.
 

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Much like practically every answer in beekeeping, the answer is, it depends. It depends on the water:sugar content of the nectar, how fast they are bringing it in, how many bees there are to process the honey/nectar, the temperature and humidity in the hive, ventilation, all sort of things. Drying the honey down can take a pretty long time or not long at all depending on conditions.
 

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Hello Yunzow,

I don't know if I understand your question correct, but if I do, Vance G's and Akademee's answers missed the point slightly.

Q: How long does it take bees to convert nectar into capped honey? I was just wondering how long this usually takes, on average.

A: (kind-of) As I understand it, the bees take the nectar (and/or pollen) from the flowers and Google says: 1. Foraging worker bees fly from their hive (sometimes miles away) to gather nectar from flowers and other blooming vegetation.
2. Once enough nectar is collected, the bees bring it back to the hive. 2. The nectar is chewed up and deposited into honeycomb wax cells.

So, by my understanding and knowledge the honey production is a daily thing, over and over again until the cell is filled, then comes what Vance G & Akademee say, the dry-down process and as they stated, that depends. I assume many bees could fill a cell in a day, the dry-down depends and the 100 lbs or more in a season per hive depends on where you are, how many active bees you have in a hive and what the weather is like.

My bees in southern Alberta (north of the man-made 49th) take 2-3 month to produce +100 lbs of great honey.

So, I may have missed the question and apologies to Vance G & Akademee if I have offended them.

JoergK.
 

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Variables for sure. In a bit of a dearth I have seen them sit on frames not quite full and by refractometer or shake test ready to be capped but the bees seem to be waiting for more before they cap it. That leads me to think they start drying it down as it comes in. An analogy might be similar to continously adding sap as the maple syrup evaporator boils off water. When you get enough in the pan you stop adding sap and boil down to your target temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Right, maybe I should have asked instead:

what is the quickest you seen bees convert a comb of nectar into honey, and
what is the longest you seen bees do the same.
 

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Right, maybe I should have asked instead:

what is the quickest you seen bees convert a comb of nectar into honey, and
what is the longest you seen bees do the same.
I have seen hives cap and fill a medium box in less than 2 weeks, so that is about the fastest.

I have also seen some cells that remained uncapped all winter, so that is about the slowest, granted during the winter they are not really focused on drying nectar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thank you!
I have seen hives cap and fill a medium box in less than 2 weeks, so that is about the fastest.

I have also seen some cells that remained uncapped all winter, so that is about the slowest, granted during the winter they are not really focused on drying nectar.
 

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Mid-summer of 2018 I put on a medium super of empty drawn comb. 7 days later it was 100% filled and capped. That's the fastest I've seen from my hives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks!

Mid-summer of 2018 I put on a medium super of empty drawn comb. 7 days later it was 100% filled and capped. That's the fastest I've seen from my hives.
 

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When I go out to the apiary in the evenings I hear the bees fanning loudly and can I can smell the nectar. When I return in the mornings the fanning has subsided and the smell is no longer noticeable. So, I assume it is a nightly process that begins anew each day.
Also, the more room they have to spread the nectar around, the faster the process would become by creating more surface area.

Alex
 
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