In the South, beekeepers can begin removing capped honey after June 15. But, why does it have to be capped? And what, exactly, does “capped” mean?
“Capped” honey is when the bees cover their honey with wax, much like putting a lid on it. This occurs only when the nectar is ripe. As you know, nectar is what bees turn in to honey. Bees turn nectar into honey by removing the moisture content from the nectar. Once the bees are pleased with the moisture level, they seal it off with wax. This “cap” keeps the honey from losing any more moisture. You never want to harvest unripened honey, as it will be too watery and ferment. To make sure yours is ready for extractions, shake your frame: if there is a shower of nectar, it is too wet to extract.