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Author Topic: Bees will not cap honey  (Read 3015 times)

Offline Wits End

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Bees will not cap honey
« on: July 24, 2011, 05:53:18 PM »
My supers have been pretty full of honey for a while but bees will not cap it. I put empty supers below full supers but still only minimal capping. I found a few frames with some capped brood cells in one hive but I know they will hatch and I don't think queeny will cross empty super now. Any suggestions on speeding the process?
Jeff and Kellie Houston
Wits End Blueberry and Bee Farm
Greenwood Mississippi

Offline Algonam

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 08:06:35 PM »
I can't help you because I am new to beekeeping but that brings up a question ......Is uncapped honey not consumable?
We extracted honey today from a frame that was mostly capped but we also took the uncapped honey.

Oh Canada!

Offline garys520

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 08:52:42 PM »
Uncapped honey could be ready to harvest, but it's a gamble.  I mixed both capped and uncapped and ruined twenty pounds of honey.  I've since invested in a refractometer, which has saved me a couple of times.

Offline AllenF

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 10:23:03 PM »
Bees know when to cap or why not to cap.   To humid to cap?   Dearth?   Try the shake test.

Offline BrentX

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2011, 11:12:20 PM »
I was in the same position with about 1/3 capped, the rest nectar in open cells.  Two weeks later all was capped.  I believe they just needed a little time to finish the honey.  Wait a little and see if they increase the capped quantity.

Offline Finski

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 04:11:56 AM »
.
With good flow, when you get one box of capped honey, bees  need 2 boxes more where to spread nectar and dry it up to honey.

Then bees need honey enough that cells re maximum full and they cap it.


If flow is heavy and moisture content high, they must store thick layers of nextar into cells and this takes several weeks time to dry it from 30% to 75%.

I have just now that kind of situation. Combs are full but they cap it slowly. That rises risk of swarming too.

When my balance hive's rise is 7 kg a day, it means perhaps that bees have transported daily 20 kg nectar to the hive.

Uncapped honey.... You just wait that they get more nectar and fill the combs.


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Offline luvin honey

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 10:04:13 PM »
I would assume they're still drying it down...

I have 2/3 capped honey on my bars, about 1/3 uncapped, but we harvested some for our own use anyway. Interestingly, my bees always, always have thin, runny honey (and I'm referring to the capped stuff). It stores great, tastes excellent but is more the texture of maple syrup than most honey--although not quite as thin as m.s. Any ideas on why?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline kedgel

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Re: Bees will not cap honey
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2011, 11:25:35 PM »
Trust the ladies to know their business.  High humidity slows the capping rate. Even capped honey will absorb moisture through the cappings. You can get by robbing frames with a few uncapped cells, but a half a frame or so can cause the other honey to ferment.  You can dry it some by leaving it a little longer to dry.  I always dry mine by putting a shop vac on the blower side and putting the floor attachment at the entrance.  I stack my supers on a bottom board and put a screened inner cover on top.  A little duct tape at the bottom seals around the vac hose and keeps the pests out.  The warm air blowing over the frames overnight works great for me here in the humidity capital of the U.S.  One note of caution:  if you're in an area with SHB, you may want to freeze the frames overnight before trying to dry it.  24 hours is about all it takes for the ever-present larvae to start burrowing through the combs and ruining the honey--I learned that the hard way.  I got busy and didn't get to extracting it as soon as I planned.  When I pulled it out it was crawling with tiny larvae!
Talent is a dull blade that cuts nothing unless wielded with great force--Pat Travers