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Author Topic: how much honey to leave  (Read 1272 times)
blckoakbees
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« on: September 19, 2007, 10:55:28 PM »

HI,
I have been reading the great advice for amount a month.  I just started three hives this spring.  My daughter (9) has been helping me.  I am just amazed every time I open the hives.  My bees are located on our ranch in the foothills of California and we do not live there so they are in an electric fenced area (solar powered) because we have seen evidence of bears.
I would like to take some honey just may be a frame or two.  I do not know how much each hive needs.  I am feeding very heavily right now. 

Usually, there is a light dusking of snow which sticks for about a week.  It is at about 2,500 feet.  How many frames of honey should I be leaving in each hive.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 11:30:19 PM »

>I would like to take some honey just may be a frame or two.  I do not know how much each hive needs.  I am feeding very heavily right now.

If you're feeding heavily then you don't really have honey in the hive, you have processed sugar syrup.  I'd leave it and harvest some honey next summer.  But if you HAVE to have a taste look for some darker honey.  Not just darker comb (which may just indicate that brood has been rearing in it) but darker honey in new comb.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 12:07:17 AM »

Welcome to the forum, seems you already got some help from MB, this is a good place to get some help and meet other beekeepers, and also help others that might need it....
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blckoakbees
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 12:42:08 AM »

I think I need a better description.  One hive has two deep brood chambers.  The bottom chamber is full bees, honey and pollen.  the second has some honey and comb and brood.  I put a queen excuder on and a medium supper and then the really hot weather hit and no more expansion.  I put a feeder on the outside.

Second hive the brood chamber is the same, less development on the second super.  No need for a honey super. I put a feeder on outside to try and build up for winter.

Third hive has had problems all along.  Bottom chamber is not very full and not really expanding to second super.  I expect I may lose this one over the winter.

I understood feeding right now would help the bees build stores for the winter which is why I started feeding heavy.

Am I doing O.K.  I though one frame from the best hive might be O.k. to take.  As the weather cools other plants are coming into bloom right now.

Let me know what you think.  I am willing to wait until next year.
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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 10:23:35 AM »

blckoakbees.  I am thinking that the colony that you think is weak, should be united with one of the other colonies, providing it is not sick.  If you think it will not overwinter, might as well make your stronger colonies more strong.

Wonder what kind of advice you will get from our forum friends, but that is what I would do.  Kill that queen and use newspaper to unite this weak colony, if it is so weak, it will probably not overwinter anyways, like you said.  Have a wonderful day, you will love being in our forum family.  Cindi
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annette
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2007, 12:08:31 PM »

Hi

I live in Placerville California, which is also the foothills (elevation 1800). So I do not know where you live, but I can tell you that I leave just 1 medium super full of honey for the bees. Last year I did this and they did not even go through most of it. But Randy Oliver who lives in Grass Valley (about same elevation as you) says one super is enough around here.

If you live close by and I can be of any help, please let me know. I am also a new beekeeper having started April 2006, but I have 2 hives and have been through lots of trials and tribulations and so far things are going well.

Sincerely,
Annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2007, 07:17:02 AM »

>understood feeding right now would help the bees build stores for the winter which is why I started feeding heavy.

Which is a fine plan.  It's just not a plan compatible with harvesting now unless you want sugar syrup...  Harvest should have taken place before feeding.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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