Hi, how do I encourage the bees to cap the the honey? Three honey supers most not capped!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Royalcoachman, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    Hi, how do I encourage capping? 3 honey supers w/ very little capping!
     
  2. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    check your population for wax workers. I've noticed that when I lost a queen and the bees aged out they had 2 boxes of largely uncapped honey. I had to move a box to another hive with better population to get it capped. Did you have a brood break a while ago. Does the queen have a place to lay where you want her to lay?
     

  3. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    I have a young queen that is laying. There is LOTS of brood and adults.
    I am not sure what a brood break is? The queen has never stopped laying as far as I know.
    I have 2 medium supers on the bottom. I know she was laying in the second super and has moved on from there.
    How do I recognize a wax worker?
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you've not had a brood break you probably have a few wax workers. They will require sugar water to make the wax to cap the honey, unless you happen to have a flow. My bees take a brood break unless I feed at this time of year, makes it easier to beat the mites back. If no capped brood no mites in capped brood. If no nectar coming in the queen quits laying, and that is a brood break.

    I think you are going to have to have a couple of tables to act as stands handy, with extra lids so you can cover the separated boxes. and take boxes off one at a time and find out what's going on in the bottom box, move the brood down, be sure there are an empty frame or 2 for her to lay in down stairs, and move her down if you can find her.

    That is a lot of work, but if you want honey that might be what you have to do However, you don't want to roll the queen, bad time of year to do that
     
  5. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    Hi Gypsi, thanks! I will get down to the bottom, I forgot about reading that.
    What is rolling the queen?
     
  6. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    squish...........splat...crush.......
     
  7. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    Gotcha! Thanks
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    that's what I meant. If she gets trapped between frames when you are lifting one out she can be injured fatally, hence the term roll (as that often happens)
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    How did things go?
     
  10. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    Hi, thanks for the get back!
    As a reminder I use all medium supers. The nectar flow has now stopped except for some asters.
    I still have 5 supers(boxes) in place. I have removed one other at this time, it was on top.It had some capped honey but mostly nectar in that super. I have put five of those frames in a freezer to save for Spring.
    My plan is to continue to remove 2 more supers when weather permits. I have capped honey in those 2 supers for my use.
    I will then have 3 supers in place for the winter.
    When I last inspected, the bottom 2 supers had lots of pollen and nectar. I then took my fullest super and put it on top of those 2. I plan on wintering with those three.

    At this time of year, if I do not feed, will the bees first eat uncapped nectar?
    Will that help eliminate nectar from the frames I hope to harvest?
    When a frame is 80% capped but uncapped remains, do you harvest it anyway? Some say if you shake it and the nectar does not leak out it is OK. Some say it should not be harvested and consumed?? So what do you advise if a frame is mostly capped but still has nectar ??

    There is never a lack of questions with this endeavor!!
    Hope all is well with you.
     
  11. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    as im still having my hives grow in numbers, I feed almost all the time, and during the winter I make fondant to feed the bees, why risk having them starve??? or run low on stores. my friend harvests frames that arent fully capped and hasnt had any issues, I try and only take fully capped and not many from a newer hive, I rather let them have extra stores for the winter...even with feeding...
     
  12. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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  13. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    Hi RKB,Thanks!
    I realized I have 6 supers on my hive not 5 and I already removed one. There will be lots of frames that will not be fully capped.
    What would you do with them? There is only so much freezer space.
    Also, since I am in far cold north, should I use 4 supers or 3 to over winter the bees?
    With 4 I have heard that it is harder for them to keep more space warm.?? I used 4 last winter and they never touched the fondant I gave them. It was a weak hive and 4 was plenty. This is a strong hive. Should I use 4?
    At this time of year do they eat capped or uncapped ? The questions just keep coming!
     
  14. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    how far north are you? my bees are on long island, I dont know for sure but if the bees are hungry they will eat anything available before starving...I would imagine uncapped honey would be on the menu..lol..if your hive is strong I would think about leaving the 4 supers on for food, its not usually the cold that kills the bees, its moisture or mites that are in the hive, as long as you have a decent amount of bees to create warmth inside the hive, you can try insulating the outside but leave a top and bottom entrance to get rid of any moisture build up..I have friends upstate NY were its cold during the winters with hives and the cold doesnt seem to effect a strong healthy hive...you can google and see about uncapped honey for the bees, my bees on long island eat a bit of fondant through the winter, there is a recipe here that I use and works very well...unknown why yours didnt eat the fondant..
     
  15. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They won't eat fondant if they have honey and pollen, they also won't go to the top of the hive until they have emptied the bottom box of stores. Then the cluster sort of creeps up into the next box, they move vertically better than horizontally, concentrate full frames at the center of the boxes and do not cut off burr comb in fall, they use it for a bridge to get to the next food. If the fondant was on the very top, I'll bet there was still honey below it come spring?
     
  16. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    I just lost a reply that I spent the last hour typing. Anyway,thanks for the support. You all are appreciated.
    Every time I try to post a reply a window says I am not logged in when I am??
     
  17. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You may have to click the stay logged in box? If in doubt I copy the post and paste to Wordpad or Notepad. then I have a copy after I log in. It does log out after some idle time. and a long reply, it can think it's idle time.

    When you log in you have the option to click a box to stay logged in. I just did it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  18. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    They will eat about anything down here. How did you do, how many boxes on, and did they cap the honey?


     
  19. Royalcoachman

    Royalcoachman Member

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    Hi again, glad to hear back from you. I ended up with 5.5 lbs. of honey from capped frames from my 1 hive. They went to work and finally capped. I have 4 boxes on for the winter with frames that were partially capped. The hive is still removing drones this late in the year. Not seeing many lately. We are cold with day temps in the 30's and snow on the ground. Seems late to be still purging drones. This hive is still doing things like no other. I have my quilt box on but still need to wrap with tar paper. Been very busy with so many other things getting ready for winter and hunting season. I am the caretaker for our hunting camp as well as getting the farm ready. This is an early winter and am not ready. Thanks for your help with all my questions. It is always good to have you and RKB to get support from during the summer. Every summer brings more head scratching questions! Since the hive kept bringing in nectar so late I did not treat for mites till late. I am trying the hop infused strips this year. I will let you know how it worked in the Spring. Hopefully Spring will arrive before June this year!!
     
  20. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hopefully it will all be well. I garden and farm some here and texas has 2 growing seasons so it's wild