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Author Topic: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?  (Read 275 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« on: April 30, 2021, 08:42:02 am »
Here is a photo I made yesterday.
Why are the bees uncapping honey in the middle of a honey flow? April-May is our flow around here, and privit is blooming everywhere. Nectar is coming in, and the bees are busy through the entrance. Maybe they like a little aged honey instead of all the watery nectar being brought in?
It's a good photo, if I say so myself.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 10:44:46 am »
I would say you are right! A very good photo. Bob from previous post you have mentioned several times that you are using long hives.  If so the following may not be helpful in answering your question. In a regular Langstroth hive, bees will move honey up IF they have been deprived of available storage space in which they were forced to store excess honey in the brood area. When supers are (made available), ie. bees will move honey up. This might however be to late as far as swarm mode is concerned. As you know a lack of brood space will kick in swarm mode during a flow. For curiously, is the honey being uncapped in the brood area?

ie.
Sometimes space was provided in a proper time frame by added supers but their use, can be restricted by the unskilled use of Queen excluders.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 11:09:51 am by Ben Framed »
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 11:36:07 am »
Ben, I can't remember where this honey was. I didn't know that bees will uncap and move ripe honey. That may be what they are doing.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2021, 11:36:50 am »
Bob after taking a second look, their is pollen in the same area so brood must be near by. It could be the bees are simply using this honey to make royal jelly for feeding larva. Or they could be moving it for more added pollen storage space. I don?t know at this point lol 😂 just guessing now. Yours is as good as mine!! 😂😂😂 

There are several good articles of bees moving honey up. As far as capped or uncapped being distinguished, I have found only one writing. It says both can be moved up.


Adding: Maybe some of the more experienced keepers will know more about this and chime in. Unless we have guessed right lol.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 01:26:49 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Nock

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 01:50:23 pm »
Great pic. That would be my guess as well.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 12:16:49 am »
Bob after taking a second look, their is pollen in the same area so brood must be near by. It could be the bees are simply using this honey to make royal jelly for feeding larva. Or they could be moving it for more added pollen storage space. I don?t know at this point lol 😂 just guessing now. Yours is as good as mine!! 😂😂😂 

There are several good articles of bees moving honey up. As far as capped or uncapped being distinguished, I have found only one writing. It says both can be moved up.


Adding: Maybe some of the more experienced keepers will know more about this and chime in. Unless we have guessed right lol.

Forgive me if I'm reading into this, perhaps you just mean the nurse bees are feeding themselves and the larvae, but royal jelly isn't composed of honey, it's a secretion of the workers' hypopharyngeal glands.   
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2021, 12:24:50 am »
Bob after taking a second look, their is pollen in the same area so brood must be near by. It could be the bees are simply using this honey to make royal jelly for feeding larva. Or they could be moving it for more added pollen storage space. I don?t know at this point lol 😂 just guessing now. Yours is as good as mine!! 😂😂😂 

There are several good articles of bees moving honey up. As far as capped or uncapped being distinguished, I have found only one writing. It says both can be moved up.


Adding: Maybe some of the more experienced keepers will know more about this and chime in. Unless we have guessed right lol.

Forgive me if I'm reading into this, perhaps you just mean the nurse bees are feeding themselves and the larvae, but royal jelly isn't composed of honey, it's a secretion of the workers' hypopharyngeal glands.

No forgiveness needed Member, you earned respect here at beemaster many moons ago lol. What you say is true! But it takes both pollen (a mixture of beebread and honey to develop that secretion is my understanding)? I reserve the right to be wrong however, especially when talking to you as I know you do your homework. lol
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 04:59:59 am »
Bees move honey to make room for eggs every spring.
We have single deep wintered hives that have no brood, 8 frames full or 3/4 full of honey, Come spring hey will shift that honey up when we put a super on them to make room for the queen to lay.
They will also move it through the queen excluder.

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2021, 08:31:00 am »
If the bees uncap and move ripe honey, then backfilling the broodnest is not an accidental or lazy bee habit that a I always have to watch out for, but a specific tool the bees purposefully use to instigate swarming. They COULD put the honey and nectar in available space elsewhere instead of empty comb in the brood area.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2021, 03:05:19 pm by Bob Wilson »

Offline rast

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2021, 08:50:33 am »
I just read somewhere (great citation) that they during a flow they will stick it anywhere and move it later to where they want it.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2021, 09:27:02 am »
They know what they are doing and it could be multiple reasons especially during a heavy flow.  It is more efficient to dump nectar in the first cells they come to.  So if honey is in the way they are going to move it.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2021, 11:40:10 am »
No forgiveness needed Member, you earned respect here at beemaster many moons ago lol. What you say is true! But it takes both pollen (a mixture of beebread and honey to develop that secretion is my understanding)? I reserve the right to be wrong however, especially when talking to you as I know you do your homework. lol
Thanks, Phillip, and yes, you are right, the nurse bees need a good diet of honey and pollen for their glands to produce royal jelly.  Just wanted to be sure that was clear.  :smile: 
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2021, 07:13:02 pm »
Rast is also correct, bees will bring nectar into the brood and other bees shift it up.Sometime early in the day if you want to check a flow when the frames in the super won't shake, then got the brood box and see if they will shake,

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2021, 01:37:00 am »
Bob,
More than likely they are moving it to make room for brood. It is also possible that they are actually in the process of capping it.
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Offline spafmagic

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Re: Why do bees open capped honey in the middle of a honey flow?
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2021, 11:10:25 am »
My thought has also been that if you used a smoker before going into the hive, they could have cracked into those cells in preparation for evacuation.