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Author Topic: How to finish capping after a swarm?  (Read 191 times)

Offline yes2matt

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How to finish capping after a swarm?
« on: May 15, 2017, 04:26:57 PM »
So I had that "where's the bees?" experience I've heard about. My strongest colony threw several swarms, judging by the four emerged queen cells and still one capped.

Anyway, I have four medium supers on that hive, each with 9 frames, all full of honey. Except each frame is about half capped,  like in the pic. Some more some less, average 50% 

How can I harvest this honey?

Here's my ideas:
> put them on other hives, I have a couple, but they have their own work to do?
> try to extract them as-is and see if they pass the spectrometer test?
> wait til July hoping the new queen builds a strong colony and there is some flow?
> maybe pull out the remaining Q cell to a nuc and combine a weaker colony onto this one?

Ugh. And my swarm trap is empty. :/

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: How to finish capping after a swarm?
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 05:52:39 PM »
lightly shake the frames. if some of the honey comes out its not ready yet. put back on the hive. or you can extract and dry the honey i the house with fan moving air round. this should drop the moisture content 3-5 % you can do that couple times. drip from one bucket to another.

john

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: How to finish capping after a swarm?
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 07:51:30 PM »
Do a specto on the uncapped honey to see if you have a problem or not?
What is the source of the honey?
Like DM said if you can shake honey it is too fresh.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: How to finish capping after a swarm?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 10:42:09 PM »
I do what John said.
Sometimes when I pull the honey it is not capped but it is already down to 18% or lower. I have heard that if the flow stops before they cap it they may not cap it. That does not make sense to me because they had plenty of honey to make wax.
Jim
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: How to finish capping after a swarm?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 12:13:50 AM »
The Eucalypt honey in OZ would probably be OK, other than Iron Bark but our ground honey such as clover tend to be higher moisture.
I think they some times run out of nectar but don't cap it to allow room for more honey from the next flow.
I agree Jim you would think they should cap it.
If we can we will mix and match the frames to maximise the capped frames to extract and leave the least capped for the bees to deal with.

Offline yes2matt

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Re: How to finish capping after a swarm?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 07:38:10 AM »
Do a specto on the uncapped honey to see if you have a problem or not?
What is the source of the honey?
Like DM said if you can shake honey it is too fresh.
Local source is mostly trees, tulip poplar and holly are the biggest contributors I think. I've got white oak too. And there is some blackberry round here but I didn't see them working it.

Offline yes2matt

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Re: How to finish capping after a swarm?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 07:42:31 AM »
I do what John said.
Sometimes when I pull the honey it is not capped but it is already down to 18% or lower. I have heard that if the flow stops before they cap it they may not cap it. That does not make sense to me because they had plenty of honey to make wax.
Jim
I don't think I've run out of flow so much as run out of bees :)  or the bees ran out on me.  But it's gotten hot this week and maybe I'm out of flow too.

I'll try the shake test and maybee extract like it is.