NZBF: What to do with uncapped honey.

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5
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Lower Hutt
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Going into April we have a hive with two three-quarter brood boxes with the queen still laying well, and two three-quarter supers above an excluder. Those supers have most frames full or filling with honey but only two frames in the bottom super were capped except for a little area each, not done. These were swapped out for drawn and the most-capped frames remaining moved up into the top box.
Our Noob question(s) are how to get the girls to finish capping frames by placing them strategically or just having nature take its course. And probably in a new thread, how to deal with a lot of end-of-season uncapped wet honey. Input welcomed.

Thanks.
 
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Going into April we have a hive with two three-quarter brood boxes with the queen still laying well, and two three-quarter supers above an excluder. Those supers have most frames full or filling with honey but only two frames in the bottom super were capped except for a little area each, not done. These were swapped out for drawn and the most-capped frames remaining moved up into the top box.
Our Noob question(s) are how to get the girls to finish capping frames by placing them strategically or just having nature take its course. And probably in a new thread, how to deal with a lot of end-of-season uncapped wet honey. Input welcomed.

Thanks.
let the bees have it
 
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maungaturoto
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Going into April we have a hive with two three-quarter brood boxes with the queen still laying well, and two three-quarter supers above an excluder. Those supers have most frames full or filling with honey but only two frames in the bottom super were capped except for a little area each, not done. These were swapped out for drawn and the most-capped frames remaining moved up into the top box.
Our Noob question(s) are how to get the girls to finish capping frames by placing them strategically or just having nature take its course. And probably in a new thread, how to deal with a lot of end-of-season uncapped wet honey. Input welcomed.

Thanks.
probably best just to leave it.
to take any you need to know how much honey is in the brood boxes and is honey still coming in, or is it finished.
if in doubt just leave it on and you won't have to worry about feeding them.
the other factor is tutin.
 
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If there is no fresh honey coming in then all the honey in the hive will be ripe and it really doesn't matter whether it's capped or not.
Once the flow is over they stop producing wax and they will eat the uncapped stuff first but there is nothing wrong with it.
Tutin and how much stores your hive has for winter are a different question but you have to be careful if there is any chance of tutu bushes being close and you absolutely need to leave some honey on the hive for the winter.
If they are still getting a honey flow then some of the uncapped honey will be unripe but if they are getting a honey flow then they will still be producing wax and will finish capping the frames. The majority but not all types of honey tend to be pretty dry anyway so the odd tiny bit of high moisture content honey really doesn't have any great detrimental effect.
You can get a hydrometer but if the uncapped honey is as thick as the capped honey then you should be good to go.
Some fully capped honey is too high moisture content and ferments but these honeys are pretty uncommon . Bees around town can get a quite heavy flow mainly from different eucalyptus over the winter and they do have real trouble drying out this winter honey but that is not really a question.
 
5
3
Lower Hutt
Experience
Hobbyist
What might be really useful to give us a full picture, is to complete a hivelog so we can refer back to it. It will also help you see trends in the future.
Grant: Coming up in a spare moment.

As early-days hobby keepers we have far more questions than answers but the Forum is the go-to for that. Just a couple of queries though; it's been a mild Summer/Early Autumn in the Hutt Valley and scattered pollen is still coming in. Pale yellow and a bit of dark orange coloured stuff. There must still be nectar out there because they are still slowly filling frames but with Belmont Regional Park on one side and housing on the other what they are visiting is conjecture. There is always a chance of Tute on the edges of Korokoro Stream in the Reserve about 3km away but DOC do prowl about down there if that helps. The bees may well not bother looking for it but a test would clear that.
The uncapped honey doesn't want to drip readily when frames are held flat. There is honey in the brood boxes as well and that would need supplementing for Winter. We were intending to leave them one super and harvest the other. In all though, we have roughly 8 frames of potential harvest that is partly or fully uncapped.
Two alternatives present themselves. Leave the hive with the whole 2 boxes as stores, or exclude the top super with a mat so that they focus on filling and capping the one and see what happens. Or, spin out a box-worth of mostly capped to have some for us and make mead or stabilize it with (eg) Sodium Metabisulphite that stops wild yeasts growing and then use it in cooking or, well, mead!
 
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Wknz

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I left supers on in my first year bee keeping and ended up with mould in the hive. The extra height made it hard for the bees to keep the hive warm. They couldnt get rid of water vapor etc so mould.
My understanding is , for a 3/4 box about 6 frames of honey for winter between the 2 brood boxes.
I'm enjoying my last two full frames that were surplus to requirements as honey and mead making.
If you leave one on top excluded by mat make sure no gaps else they will get robbed. I had a box, commercially made, that had a gap and that invited trouble until I fixed it.
 

yesbut

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There is always a chance of Tute on the edges of Korokoro Stream in the Reserve about 3km away but DOC do prowl about down there if that helps. The bees may well not bother looking for it but a test would clear that.
Tutu is a native, so not sure of the reference to Doc.
 
5
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Lower Hutt
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That reference to DOC was to infer that they keep an eye out for the stuff as they go about their business in reserves. What it ought to have read was the Regional Authority, not DOC? And that is hearsay, admittedly. 😕
 

Grant

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If you do a proper one it will get formatted correctly. You can drop a link in to this topic when completed. I'll delete the above later on.
 
5
3
Lower Hutt
Experience
Hobbyist
Help us out here please Grant. So far we haven't spotted a link to a template in the linked discussion, and if your specimen is Copy/Pasted on our gear it shows with hard returns each line, as in Exhibit A. Since reformating it manually to conform with the look of your example but with the requested information to us seemed unimportant in the scheme of things, Exhibit A was put up. If there is a yet unfound link could you please direct us. If the reformatting of the example is important we'll give that a go.
 
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5
3
Lower Hutt
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Hobbyist
Thank you for the advice received, and we have decided to try and solve the uncapped situation ourselves with a mixture of Auntie Google and initiative. Holding the frames flat and tapping them on the hive roof as a convenient flat surface doesn't splash more than a drop or two average of honey out of cells of any frame tested. Google suggested that as a rough test for ripened honey. This afternoon is warm, overcast, gentle breeze. There is lots of flying taking place, the bees are calm. The fullest and most-capped frames are now in the bottom super with an escape board on top, and the least filled and least capped frames in the top box. The plan is to get the girls to focus first on filling and capping one box and then to swap boxes, ultimately leaving that whole box to them as stores. Reporting on the success or not of the venture will follow soon.
Thanks.
 

yesbut

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Nelson
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That reference to DOC was to infer that they keep an eye out for the stuff as they go about their business in reserves. What it ought to have read was the Regional Authority, not DOC? And that is hearsay, admittedly. 😕
My point is that no authority will be a tiny bit interested in taking any notice of Tutu. It's actually a valuable coloniser of potentially eroding banks, riversides etc.
 

Grant

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Help us out here please Grant. So far we haven't spotted a link to a template in the linked discussion, and if your specimen is Copy/Pasted on our gear it shows with hard returns each line, as in Exhibit A. Since reformating it manually to conform with the look of your example but with the requested information to us seemed unimportant in the scheme of things, Exhibit A was put up. If there is a yet unfound link could you please direct us. If the reformatting of the example is important we'll give that a go.

let me do a step by step for you
Post a hive log here, using the form

Then either copy and paste the hive log url or use the share icon into your topic so it can be referenced
 


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