I admit it…after my 2 colonies collapsed/disappeared last fall I was more than a little discouraged…and also got a bit lazy.
After removing the flow frames, some of which were 70% or more full of uncapped (unripe?) honey, I simply put them in a sealed box in the garage. I meant to empty them, of course, but then winter rolled around and it was always too cold to work out there. I had tested the uncapped honey in the fall, and it was close to “ripe” but definitely not capped.
Today, I sampled some of the uncapped stores, and they are sitting right around 16% (calibrated my refractometer with EVOO)
First question: is it honey? I tasted it, and it tastes just like the honey I harvested from one of the traditional frames out of the brood nest last year. It doesn’t smell off or fermented in any way.
Second question(s): should I just load these frames onto one of my hives and see what happens? Could I eventually include these stores in a future honey harvest, or would I regret it later? If I decide to clean the frames out, best suggestion on how? 16% seems like it will be awfully thick.