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At the local bee club the instructors were doing an extraction demo. One of the instructors took a frame of honey, showed where it was capped and some of it was not capped and did a quick thrust to the floor and said if you see honey come out of the uncapped portion and hits the floor, then that frame is not ready and that is considered "green honey".

A few people I talked to after the fact said this was not a good method and said they do not extract until the entire frame is capped over with wax. When I inspect frames, there is usually a few uncapped cells but with honey in them.

What's the best method to determine if your honey is "green" and does the method above (thrust towards the ground) shed any value to do this method? Also, some say that green honey will make you deathly ill, is this actually the case, or does it just give you the bathroom blues for a few days?
 

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The instructor is correct. Ripe honey won't shake lose, unripe nectar will.
Some frames never get fully capped especially at the end of the flow.
 

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Can one take a few drops of the uncapped portion and check the % water???if 18.6 or less would it then be OK to extract?
 

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The only way to know for sure is with a honey refractometer. The instructors method works fine.
 

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The instructor makes a good point and I do that when I pull frames and find a partially capped one. I've never been ill from green honey but then again, I rarely spin nectar filled frames.
 

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What is green honey?????????????
 

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Your local weather and nectar type will have some influence on how dry the honey is before they cap it. Here if a frame is 75% capped the average moisture content will be OK. Last year was an exception and I had whole boxes that were not getting capped. They passed the shake test without spattering but I was not happy. I bought a refractometer and found that it was all dry enough. As clyderoad mentions there was little flow. Some of that uncapped honey had lower moisture than earlier honey extracted from 75% capped frames.

Rotating the outside frames in to the centre will help get them capped more uniformly.
 

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19% honey doesn't shake out either. Our capped honey here ranges from 15% to 17.5%. So even if some around the edges is at 19% it will all average out when mixed in the extractor. I use a refractometer and find that at the end of the flow (end of July for us) all of the honey, capped or not, is at 17.5% or lower. Bees will not cap cells that don't get full so if you are using drawn comb in your supers and the flow stops before cells are filled, those will stay open. The only time I find 19% honey is when I try to extract during the flow.
 
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