I've Been a Bit Naughty ......Again

I have been struggling with the honey in the Flow frames for some weeks now. I would pull the frames and what they were showing was “nearly” capped cells. The bees seem to have a tiny hole in most cells of a some what fully capped frame.

The honey in the cupboard was on its last teaspoons … so I did it.
I pulled the plug so to speak and got a net 2.8 K from one of the middle frames. Very exciting. Took about an hour with a staggered opening.

The first thing was to taste the honey. It was so sweet and a bit darker than I would have thought from the marri but absolutely gorgeous. :yum:
I got out the elcheapo refractometer and could not get a reading at all.
I was constantly using a refractometer when I was into wine making but was reluctant to fork out $200 for a new one when my old one went missing.(on loan to a neighbour who said he returned it but didn’t know when) This replacement job is about the 1/2 the size and gives me no reading at all.
So it was to Jeffs water test. The honey failed but only just. After a few minutes there was a small halo around the blob but didn’t spread for some time and then slowly. After 5 minutes it had a 5-6mm halo so it must be so close. I will keep in fridge to be on safe side but should be gone by the time we go (mid March) to NZ for 7 weeks on hols. We eat a lot of honey.
Anyway some things have been achieved.

  1. My anxiety levels have plummeted to normal.
  2. I can relax and wait for the the rest of the frames to be fully capped.
  3. No need to buy a new bucket of honey.

Congrats on your first harvest Busso, did the frames leak? How much did you finish up with? And have fun in NZ,

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There’s a little bit of irony there Cowgirl considering the producers of that raw honey made you so ill!
Good on you for not giving up btw.

Hi Busso, now that you’ve done the water test & you know what you’re looking for, I think a good idea would be to put some of the honey in a small jar to monitor week by week or even leave it till you get back from N.Z. That honey could be more ripe than you think.

I have adopted a new strategy to avoid unripe honey in the open cells of the honey I’m harvesting. I’m taking the frames in the mornings instead of afternoons. That way any honey in uncapped cells will be riper than it would have been late in the afternoon. So that is always something to consider.

@skeggley 2.8Kg.
I had no leakage I could see. Nothing on the removable board, nothing out the bottom of the flow frame.
I opened the cells bit by bit. I was a bit over 1/2 way into the frame with the “twist stick” when I changed jars. Overall took about an hour 15. The dregs went on a bit but even then I didn’t get it all. There was a some in the channel at the bottom when I kissed the girls goodnight. NZ is still 3 weeks away and I hope to harvest the rest before I go.

@JeffH Thanks Jeff


Well the correct refractometer has arrived and I set about measuring all the frames.
The first one which I was concerned about above now measures out at 18.5% moisture, so bordering ripe as the Jeff test predicted.
Of the other 5 frames harvested 10 days later 3 were in the range 17.4%,17.5% and 17.8%. The other two a little higher at 18.2 % and 18.4% and were the outer two frames which took along time to be capped.

So all in all the first harvest was good but have already given have away to our children and neighbours. :relaxed: