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Dark capped honey


Why is the honey in these cells so dark?



Here is another picture


Hi Brick,
Honey color and flavor is based on the nectar source. Here in Seattle, we have light colored clover honey in the spring and we get darker herbal honey in the fall. It’s one of the perks of having your own bees. The US National Honey Board reports 300 unique types of honey available.


You may find that the honey is not as dark as it appears. It is sitting in old brood frames. After many generation of bees being produced in the combs, the buildup of leftover cocoons can get quite dark & eventually turn black as the numbers build up. It can get to the point where you can’t even see light through the comb. Just dip a knife into the comb, then you’ll see what I mean.


I have similar in one of my hives, the honey itself & the comb was quite light in colour & hadn’t been used for brood.


Yep. Wet cappings on old brood comb


Hi Dee, you mentioned wet cappings. While looking at @BigBadBob’s awesome honey harvest & wondering if he experienced any leakage onto his brood, after reading your post & pondering about flow hive leakage. I wonder if most of the leakage comes from wet cappings as in @Heron’s classic photo. Whereas I can imagine dry cappings holding together much better, thus not having the leakage problems. Just a thought.


I’m back from taking a good look at Heron’s photo. I’m now convinced after close examination, pondering the physics of it that it’s the wet capping where the leaks occur. It will be interesting to see if anyone does any research in this area (wet cappings vs dry cappings) after reading this post & what the findings would be.

PS I’m only talking about frames that are fully capped, as Heron’s was.


Interesting information @JeffH. I’m looking at more harvesting this week so will pay attention to the differences. My bees are Italians so would expect dry cappings, maybe they’re crosses, any way keep you posted.


Hi Heron, when you think about the surface tension of the wax cap on the honey, it stands to reason that if the honey moves, the wax will tend to want to move with it with not enough strength to hold it firm.

When you look at a dry cap, it’s easy to see how that the honey will flow away, leaving the cap in place.


Our Italians primarily created wet capped honey this year, and last year we had dry capped honey from our two hives of swarmed Carniolans. Rebel Bees?