Uncapped honey

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Elizabeth, May 20, 2005.

  1. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Quick question- we are extracting our spring honey and have about a dozen supers of uncapped honey. The cells are full, and the honey is very thick- cannot shake it out of the frame. I do not normally pull uncapped honey, but we had to treat with coumaphos so I cannot put the supers back on the hives. Cannot store them, either. (due to hive beetles). I do not have freezer space to freeze it. So, how should I manage these supers?

    Should I-
    a. pull the honey and heat it to dry it out a bit? I would have to use a drum heater to do this as I do not normally heat my honey and do not have any other heating devices.

    b. put it out with the wet supers and let the bees rob it out? I have 23 hives on the property now, so that would be a lot of honey for them. I don't mind doing this, as we are installing all new foundation and getting ready to do splits, etc- the bees can use it, but is this a good idea?
     
  2. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Why not put the frames of uncapped honey in with your splits? You can put medium or shallow frames in with deep frames, they will just continue drawing comb from the bottom bar. The other option is to raise two nucs next to eachother, put a divider board in the center of your honey super, and just put a queen excluder and then the super over the top of two nucs pushed against one another. That way the bees could use this honey for comb drawing instead of you feeding them. When the colonies fill the nucs, you can just put supers on top of the young colonies.

    justgojumpit
     

  3. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good suggestion, but not an option in this case- I cannot put my honey frames or supers in/on the hives with the coumaphos in there. If I put the frames in for feed then I would have to discard them afterwards. The coumaphos stays in for 42-45 days and then I have to wait at least 14/15 days after removing the coumaphos before adding supers.

    I guess this wasn't obvious in my first post- I have to treat everything, including the splits, until I am certain that the beetles are gone.
     
  4. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Elizabeth,

    I would extract the honey and then feed it back to the bees. This way you don't contaminate your honey supers. If using feeders is a problem you could place the honey out on trays with cappings (we put our capping wax out anyways and the bees do a good job cleaning it).

    Letting them rob the honey from the frames/supers is an option but then you run the risk of other animals getting in and doing damage (like raccoons).

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  5. rwjedi

    rwjedi Member

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    you can also place them in a room or closet with a dehumidifier running for a couple days and then just extract and bottle.
     
  6. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't leave them sitting around with the dehumidifier unless you want wax moths. I learned the hard way about letting supers of honey sit around for a short time. I know someone that left a stack of honey filled supers in their kitchen while they went away for a week. they came home to a house full of moths.
    I would extract some and have it checked for moisture content with a hygrometer. You could then make your decision from there.
     
  7. xbeeman412

    xbeeman412 Well-Known Member

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    Do You have a Hydrometer? If so if the moisture is below 19% You should be OK. The ASCS required the moisture to be below 18.5 % if I remember for the Honey loan program from years ago so 19 % mixed in with the other honey would not be a problem.

    The best of success to You in this endevor.

    God Bless.
     
  8. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Charles, we do not have a hydrometer. I have never felt that I needed one, but we are talking about it now. I guess I should check to see if our local association has one, but I haven't heard anyone mention them owning any equipment, so I kind of doubt that they do.

    I have a feeling that we would have been ok to extract the uncapped supers, but we went ahead and fed it back to the bees- just stuck the boxes out on the other side of the woods and let them rob them. I was a little nervous about doing that because I was afraid to get them started on robbing, but there is a pretty good flow on here right now and the bees are very mellow, so no problem.

    Though, it did kind of break my heart to see all that beautiful honey go back into brood chambers :waa: . But we wound up with over 1200 pounds which we plan to bottle and sell ourselves, and we have no market here at the moment so I am guessing that we will be quite busy and won't miss the uncapped supers. We will miss the big flow in June, which is basswood, because of treating the hives, but we will put supers on in July for buckwheat, which DH grows here on the farm. By then our hives should be booming, and we should have plenty of new deeps with drawn foundation for next years' splits.
     
  9. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    I was just about to say, use your time missing the flow wisely. Draw out new brood frames, make some splits, do some queen rearing. Don't let those bees be lazy!

    justgojumpit