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Author Topic: How close to extracting? PIC - YAY  (Read 854 times)
Harpo
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Location: Kandos NSW


« on: October 31, 2011, 05:44:27 AM »

Hi all,

I'm a newbie with a hive I had for 1 year, it swarmed but I caught them with help and made another... then 2 days later another swarm landed and I hived that! SOLO!  shocked A week later another one giving me 4  Smiley

In creating the new hives I had to take some brood from my original which I supered with a queen excluder and saw these frames... how much of the frame has to be capped to be considered extractable? I've heard honey taken too early can ferment??


« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 06:35:49 PM by Harpo » Logged
Harpo
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Location: Kandos NSW


« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 06:11:23 AM »

I'm trying to upload a pic of one of the frames but says I can't due to the fact I'm a newbie and because of spamming  huh
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Harpo
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Location: Kandos NSW


« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 06:32:43 AM »

Could someone PLEASE tell me how many posts I have to make before I can upload pictures?  Sad

This is VERY frustrating!!!
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bernsad
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Location: NE. Melbourne, Australia


« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 07:57:53 AM »

I don't know if it relates to a number of posts or to a period of time. Hang in there, it shouldn't be very long.

I think the general rule of thumb is 3/4 capped but apparently you can have frames fully capped that are still too wet and conversely you can have frames that aren't capped at all which are at an acceptable moisture level. The best way to tell is by using a refractometer, I'm just looking in to these myself.

And welcome to the forum by the way.
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Harpo
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Location: Kandos NSW


« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 08:45:46 AM »

I don't know if it relates to a number of posts or to a period of time. Hang in there, it shouldn't be very long.

I think the general rule of thumb is 3/4 capped but apparently you can have frames fully capped that are still too wet and conversely you can have frames that aren't capped at all which are at an acceptable moisture level. The best way to tell is by using a refractometer, I'm just looking in to these myself.

And welcome to the forum by the way.

Now what is a refractometer, is there a post about them?

I didn't extract last year as I wasn't game to be honest...I bumbled through a supering and when a friend checked said I did a good job, we nearly split it but thought better of it... decided better they have surplus...

When they got active this spring and actually swarmed ( I caught them ) we checked the top box and they'd nibbled away some comb - must have had to big a population or struggled to stay warm (we hit  minus4 a few days straight!!! maybe both  Undecided

The thought of robbing their honey scares the hell out of me.. I envisage a cloud of angry bees chasing me.. honey leaking everywhere, them breaking into where I'm spinning etc etc but the temptation to make mead is great  grin

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bernsad
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 07:02:59 PM »

A refractometer is used to measure how much light bends (refracts) when it passes through a different medium eg. passes from air through a solution. They are used in all sorts of applications but you can get ones that are calibrated to read the moisture content of honey. Try searching refractometer from the main page here for more info. There are a number of them on ebay if you want to see what one looks like. http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=refractometer%2C+honey&_sacat=See-All-Categories
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Harpo
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Location: Kandos NSW


« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 09:56:05 PM »

A refractometer is used to measure how much light bends (refracts) when it passes through a different medium eg. passes from air through a solution. They are used in all sorts of applications but you can get ones that are calibrated to read the moisture content of honey. Try searching refractometer from the main page here for more info. There are a number of them on ebay if you want to see what one looks like. http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p3907.m570.l1313&_nkw=refractometer%2C+honey&_sacat=See-All-Categories


Thanks for that! I know what I want for Christmas now  Wink

My question now is - what should the moisture content be to be considered ripe?
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bernsad
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 11:31:27 PM »

Below 18.6% moisture content is considered honey. If you hunt around here and on other forums you'll find people's crop ranging from 11% to 22 or 23% but 16-18% is about the norm for bottling honey. Less than that and it will be dry/stiff and harder to bottle, more than that and it is likely to ferment, which is great for mead but not what you want to sell to customers or giveaway.

There are a lot of forum threads about people trying to dry their crop out a bit, particularly those that live in a humid climate, if you're in an arid area it doesn't seem to be a problem. Honey is hygroscopic which means it will absorb moisture from the atmosphere, so the longer it sits around exposed to moist air, the more it will absorb (to a point).
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