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Discussion Starter #1
This is the first year that i have had many frames of uncapped honey.My question is this. Do the bees cap the honey on a frame by frame basis as it is deposited into the cells of the frames, or do they go back after the frame is filled with honey. I of course will test it for moisture content before taking it, but since this situation is new to me I though I would ask more experienced berks. I usually see nice white wax covering the honey as it is deposited in the outer areas of the frames.I have several weeks before I take any honey so perhaps time will tell.
Thanks
 

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the bees cap the honey when it reaches their targeted moisture content. If a dearth happens along before it is capped they will use the uncapped stores ahead of the capped.
 

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Not only when it's dry enough, but also, they will not cap it until the cell is full. So, it is very possible to see uncapped honey that is dry enough to cap, but the cell is not quite full so the bees leave it uncapped.

I have had years where the spring and early summer flow is over, a lot of honey uncapped. I pull off super sometime later to make cut comb from what is capped, and what is uncapped is much drier and thicker than what is capped. This is because they did not cap the cells from earlier because the flow stopped before the cells were quite full, and the hot dry summer heat kept evaporating moisture out of the uncapped honey.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It has been extremely rainy here, far more rain than I can remember. I though that perhaps the moisture content was to high and the bees may be waiting for the moisture content to drop before capping. I am guessing as I don't really know. In fact it is raining again as I write this post.We do still have a flow going on and perhaps that is one of the benefits from all of the rain.
 

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Rain equals high humidity, without going into a long dissertation of driving force. Times of high humidity can slow the process for the bees, sometimes it can hold the honey on the brink. Low enough moisture to truly be honey, but not quite what the bees want. Fan as they may the ambient humidity will not allow the moisture content drop. this is the time when a refractometer is a blessing.
 

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Let me add a couple notes of info not found in beginner's books or classes.
During main flow and thereafter during the season, nectar is dried before it is placed in the cells. In the period just before the start of main flow, nectar processors are generated. Some call them receivers. These workers take the nectar from the foragers and tongue dry it a drop at a time, then put it in a cell. It's honey when it's first put in the cell, under normal circumstances. But a crushing flow can overwhelm the receiver crew and nectar can go in the cells without being pre-dried. That does not happen often
in the flow trail-off.

Evidence of the above is provided in the case of a super of foundation that is filled and capped in a week. Honey is being added to cells as the cells are being extended or deepened. The capping crew is adding their cappings as soon as the cell is full. There is almost no time for in-cell drying.

Walt
 

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Walt, your inbox is full - I tried to send you a PM. Can you clear some out?

RE: in-cell drying - I thought the bees always did this regardless.
 
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