What’s Capped Honey?

Someone asked me, “What do you mean by ‘capped’ honey?” My answer: Capped honey is like anything that has a cap on it, like a jar of jam, for instance. If the jar of jam didn’t have a cap on it, it would dry up, go mouldy, turn rancid, start to ferment, etc. Bees are like that with their honey. First they build comb consisting of thousand of hexagonal shaped cells — those are the jars. Each cell in turn is filled with nectar. The bees evaporate the nectar until its reduced to a thick sweet liquid that we call honey. When it’s just right, they seal up the cell with a layer of wax often referred to as a cap, just like the lid on a jar of jam. Here’s a photo showing a frame of honey with cells that are capped and not yet capped. (Is “uncapped” the same as “not yet capped”? Let’s just say it is.)

The open cells are uncapped. Most of the cells in middle of the frame are capped. Hence, capped honey, sometimes referred to as fully cured honey.

P.S.: There’s also dry cappings and wet cappings. The ones in the above photo are dry cappings. Here’s what I think may be wet cappings and dry cappings. See Wet cappings vs dry cappings at Honey Bee Suite for more on that.