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Author Topic: Strange looking capping  (Read 959 times)

Offline Farmrgirl

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Strange looking capping
« on: July 16, 2013, 04:30:16 PM »
I installed a new nuc of Russians 2 weeks ago and this weekend I opened the hive up to take a look at how things were going.  Mostly everything looked great but I was looking at one frame that seemed strange, though I'm totally new to beekeeping so I wanted some experienced opinions.

Here's a picture of the frame... the cappings look thick and wavy, is that normal?

« Last Edit: July 16, 2013, 05:01:16 PM by Robo »
~Dana Kee {Mooseherder, Moose Manor Farms}

Southern Maryland Homesteading with clucks, ducks, & crops  www.moosemanorfarms.com


Offline gdog

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2013, 05:33:08 PM »
It looks fine to me. I have had the older dark comb in some of my hives and it seems they cap it in the same manner the honey still comes out tasting great. don't know why it comes out looking all wavy.

Offline don2

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2013, 05:55:01 PM »
If that frame was in a nuc that you purchased It is last years honey. after a while those pretty white caps fall. Or it could be the way they capped it to begin with, dor quicker access. :) d2

Offline hjon71

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 06:18:31 PM »
Looks like honey to me.
Quite difficult matters can be explained even to a slow-witted man, if only he has not already adopted a wrong opinion about them; but the simplest things cannot be made clear even to a very intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he already knows, and knows indubitably, the truth of the matter under consideration. -Leo Tolstoy

Offline Wolfer

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2013, 10:11:42 PM »
My frames of capped sugar look like this after they get a little age on them. Last years honey can look the same way

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 12:02:33 AM »
OLd Honey/Dark Honey
John 3:16

Offline abennett

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2013, 12:27:21 AM »
Looks like honey that has crystallized or aged a little, scratch the capping a little and check more than likely that's what it is

Offline Farmrgirl

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2013, 09:30:44 AM »
Thanks, everyone!  :) Whew... I was worried because I didn't see any images online that looked quite like this.  The bees seem happy and are still building away so now I won't worry about it.
~Dana Kee {Mooseherder, Moose Manor Farms}

Southern Maryland Homesteading with clucks, ducks, & crops  www.moosemanorfarms.com

Offline Steel Tiger

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2013, 11:08:27 AM »
 I have an entire frame of honey that looks like that. It's one of the few frames that has foundation.

Offline JWChesnut

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2013, 12:00:04 PM »
Have you been feeding syrup?   Nectar that crystalizes quickly (like sugar syrup) shrinks in the cell as the dense crystals form and leaves a wrinkled top.  Many natural nectars crystalize quickly -  dandelion and clover are famous.  Left too long on the hive, virtually any honey is going to crystalize. Your pix looks like last fall's honey crop (dark wax) and the capped honey has crystallized under cover.

Crystalization is driven by glucose concentration in the fructose/glucose mix that is honey. The higher the glucose the faster the crystalization.  High fructose nectars (Locust, Tupelo, Sage are great varieties) will stay liquid longer.

Crystalization is also driven by seed crystals in the cells.  Frames that have crystalized are going to continue to do so (in practice, the bees will leave some of the crystal sugar when cleaning the cell to dry).

Others might chime in with exotic management of crystal honey frames.  My management is pretty basic- I put the boxes on top the inner cover, and let the bees come up through the port hole and thoroughly rob out the box.  They shred the drawn comb a bit in the process, but the damage is quickly repaired when placed on a hive for flow.

One of the great holy wars of the contending factions of beekeepers is should you feed syrup or no.  I won't tread into that one, as I dislike holy wars and their prophets and acolytes.  The propensity for sugar to crystalize is only a side issue in the great supplemental feeding holy war.

A web source that pretty much repeats this info is:   Honey Crystalization

« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 12:55:16 PM by JWChesnut »

Offline greenbtree

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2013, 01:11:37 PM »
Also, sometimes bees will leave a small air space between the cap and the honey and sometimes the cap is directly touching the honey making the appearance different.  At least that's what I have seen in my hives at times.  Don't know why they do it one way or the other at times.

JC
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2013, 09:41:45 PM »
Some bees make white cappings.  This is caused by leaving a small amount of air so the capping is not touching the honey.  Other bees make "wet" cappings where the honey is touching the cappings.  Both are normal.  Both are fine.  The white cappings are preferred for comb honey.
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Offline Better.to.Bee.than.not

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2013, 06:21:13 AM »
...
Crystalization is driven by glucose concentration in the fructose/glucose mix that is honey. The higher the glucose the faster the crystalization.  High fructose nectars (Locust, Tupelo, Sage are great varieties) will stay liquid longer.

Crystalization is also driven by seed crystals in the cells.  Frames that have crystalized are going to continue to do so (in practice, the bees will leave some of the crystal sugar when cleaning the cell to dry).

Others might chime in with exotic management of crystal honey frames.  My management is pretty basic- I put the boxes on top the inner cover, and let the bees come up through the port hole and thoroughly rob out the box.  They shred the drawn comb a bit in the process, but the damage is quickly repaired when placed on a hive for flow.
...
A web source that pretty much repeats this info is:   Honey Crystalization



Hey JWChestnut, I just wanted to say, that I find the answers you give routinely excellent, thoroughly scientific and competent. you are easily one of the best informers on this forum in my opinion, and I look forward to your posts. Thanks for being here. If there are any other forums or blogs you are part of about honey bees, could you send me a message on what they are?

Offline gdog

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2013, 03:29:40 PM »
I just did a harvest last night and found new comb, capped with the same wavy cappings, seems to be normal. Maybe its from the temperature outside and in the hive that makes it look as if its melting, idk.

Offline AllenF

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2013, 09:55:46 PM »
Nothing strange looking about it.   

Offline L Daxon

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Re: Strange looking capping
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2013, 11:14:27 PM »
Greentree and Michael Bush are correct.  Sometimes the girls cap with white, puffy caps and sometimes they cap right down on top of the honey which gives the capped frame a flatter, wetter, darker look.  Doesn't matter much either way except as Michael said for the aesthetics of people who like the pretty white look for comb honey.
linda d

 

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