This is my second year with this hive so I decided to try adding two supers of flow frames and they are not capping the first box. How do o get them to cap it?
They have been filled with honey for over a month now. Do you think I could just extract it without them capping it?
You can - I did recently. However, you will need to test the honey with a refractometer (about $30 to $40 on Amazon for a honey refractometer). If it is less than 18.6% water, you can store it at room temperature. If it has more water, it will need to be frozen to prevent fermentation.
We need your location to offer help.
Edit: I found it. They probably won’t this late in the season. Winter started 5 weeks ago
I have the same problem in Denver, Colorado. This is my second year with Flow and the bees refuse to cap the Flow frames. It happened last year and this year. This year, they were full 2 months ago but no capping at all. I tested the honey and it was 15.5% moisture so I know it’s fine, but they just won’t cap anything in the Flow frames.
Dawn, you mentioned that you harvested without capping, but it leaks everywhere when I do that. Do you have a method of harvesting uncapped honey without making a huge mess?
I was worried about leakage from the uncapped cells, so I took the super into my kitchen, and drained it over a large baking tray at a 5.5 degree tilt. It was the last harvest of the season, so the cells were mostly uncapped and 50% or less filled. I did what I always do on the hive - opened the frames in 20% increments, waiting 5 minutes or so between sections. I drained about 3 quarts from the six frames (when they are full I get about 1.5 quarts per frame) and at the end, there was only about 50ml (3 tablespoons) of honey in the baking tray. Two of the frames had honey at 18% or lower, the other four were 22 to 25% water, so the bees got the food back a couple of weeks ago.
I don’t know whether you open in increments, and I am not sure if that would prevent it in your case, but would definitely recommend that, and also making sure the tensioning wires are tight, to prevent the frames from flexing when you turn the Flow key.
Thanks so much, Dawn! Mine’s leaking a bit more than that, but I put the frames over a pan and it’s working pretty well. I just wish I could figure out why they won’t cap. I have 2 hives and neither of them capped last year or this.