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Bee Boy
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« on: July 31, 2004, 10:20:48 PM »

Ok this is is probably an easy question but its driving me nuts.


When do you stop collecting honey off the hives? Or more plainly, when do you take off the supers in the autum?
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2004, 10:37:08 PM »

It depends on the climate, but around here we take them off at the end of August.
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2004, 11:01:52 PM »

depends on what your plans are and if your bees make honey in the fall.  Are you going to take it all and feed them?  Are you going leave them enough to winter over on?  How much do they need to winter over in your locale?  Here, they need 70 lbs of stores.
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2004, 12:30:55 AM »

Here in Southwestern Pennsylvania we typically have a fall flow of aster and goldenrod which lasts through the end of September or early October. After the flowers have pretty much died down I remove my supers and check the hives to see how much honey the bees have stored for the winter. If there is not enough, I place the uncapped honey frames in a super above an empty super placed above the inner cover to allow the bees to "rob" their own honey down into the hive bodies. This prevents any of the bees from my other hives from robbing honey meant for a hive that needs it. It also lessens the amount of syrup that I may have to use to build the hives up for the winter.
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beemaster
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2004, 04:02:20 AM »

Generally, I wait until AFTER the last of the season's brood has hatched out to full workerbees, eliminating the need to separate any frames that are used for brood and honey - eventhough, in most hives (especially 2 supered hives) a good strength colony will have made the natural distinction and created their own honey-line that the queen just won't cross.

This is MOSTLY a second season or longer occurance though. Workers and queens in the first year are deep into comb building, storage and egg laying (pretty much) anywhere they can and old habits are hard to break.

I know C1 and C2 both have queens who enjoy laying in the upper boxes. Last inspection I switched some frames to coax them to stay down bottom, but it really didn't stick. Using queen excluders is fine for forcing the queen to stay in a particular box, but you better have a good nectar flow in order for the workers to accept and use the excluder.

So here in NJ, it is usually into early October that I harvest off my honey. I'll set a super aside on a scale, weight out 8 filled frames and hopefully get the minimum 80 pounds and add two partly filled frames to that and (at least until I am done) assume that is for the bees.

I'll spin off most of the excess, leaving 4 frames capped and set aside in my weather tight and insect proof super storage box. I'll ressemble the hives, see what late nectar may come into the hive and just give the hives the tilt test (tilting them forward to feel how full they seem) and if necessary on a warmer day in the Winter - I'll add back a couple frames toward the center of the super the bees are Wintered in.

Mind you - I'll be keeping the bees in a steel tool shed this year, away from all elements ESPECIALLY wind - so I am assuming that 80 pounds will be plenty of food. This past Winter I'm NOT SURE if that much food would have made it through, so having a place where you can open the hives up to add frames WITHOUT endangering the bees to fridged cold is handy and even neccessary during long Winters.

That about it - if your queens are happily laying in one super and you can harvest the other without the disruption of her brood being mixed in the frames that you plan, then collection or harvesting when you want is a good way to stimulate the bees to go and get more!!!
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Finman
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2004, 08:50:18 AM »

Quote from: Bee Boy


When do you stop collecting honey off the hives? Or more plainly, when do you take off the supers in the autum?


In Finland it is very usual that "flower summer is out 10.8." It is unwise to wait honey any more.

So I must take from 5 super's tower  2-3 supers away and exract the honey. It depens how honey is capped. Bees fly continuously and they die very fast on fields.  If honey is capped, there is no use to keep it in the hive.

In the end of August I take the last honey away and I start to give winter sugar. I leave honey about 5 kg per hive, not more. All pollen I try to give back.

You must notice that our summer ends 1 month ealier than in the level of France or New York.

It may be warm but natural vegetation  prepare itself for winter. Day length tells to nature what time of the year is going.
The winterball will be as large as the brood area in the middle of august.

In our country many over winter they bees in one super. I try to nurse them so big that they over winter in two supers. It depends so much about the August how bee raise they brood.
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2004, 02:03:19 PM »

Finman:

Very good points. I agree on having a 2 super high hive into Winter (when possible, both filled with honey) but that is truly a very strong hive to have such quanitee that you can harvest many frames for yourself and still have 20 frame (mostly filled) for the bees to Winter on. First season bees rarely achieve that in shorter seasoned climates here (which I aquaint your climate to our Wisconsin or maybe even higher North regions into Canada - I hope I am not doing you an injustice) but by year two, when the weather cooperates fully, it is reasonable to PUSH your bees to store 2 supers of honey!!!

Beeboy, I know your hives (hope I remember this) are from previous seasons and if so, you still have plenty of nectar gathering to do. By moving brood frames upwards in the hive, you may increase the nectar storage area as we enter Fall - getting a head start by having the bees SEE additional storage space, you might QUICKLY increase the flow rate of activity in the hive and greatly increase the mid to late Summer and early Fall flows in your area.

Bees do magical things with drawn comb and you can literally see the hive population explode when additional drawn frames are added for nectar storage - but it is a trade off... Never create a traffic jam in the brood cells, the queen should always have cells to lay into until she stops by her seasonal clock in the Fall.

The other end of that sharp sword is having a HUGE population of workers to Winter. They require lots of honey to sustain their warmth, but in return they stay WARM longer than a smaller cluster. Have lots of bees is ALWAYS better than not having enough bees to cluster - but again the trade off is how much honey can you harvest for yourself.

There is nothing worse than having a cupboard full of honey the following Spring with dead hives who starved to death or froze from lack of honey during a LATE WINTER CHILL. Most bees make it all the way until nearly Spring, then a final week of treturous weather takes them out. You'll need to judge if you can give them two supers filled or if you have smaller clusters, one full super will do BUT you really need to protect them from the wind and keep them in the sun as much as your bee yard will allow.

Very good post and replies all Smiley
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michael l burnett
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2004, 05:26:33 PM »

why not harvest all the honey,sell it,let bees die and get new ones in spring? it seems cruel, but economical...bees only live a short time anyways....im not a bee hater just a farmer with one eye on the bottom line............................bee cool....brookie.
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Lesli
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2004, 10:41:42 PM »

Quote from: michael l burnett
why not harvest all the honey,sell it,let bees die and get new ones in spring?


Aside from a certain fondness for my bees, and a desire to see if my queens are suited to the climate and such, I'm not sure it is economical, since package bees don't usually produce as much as overwintered bees. Overwintered bees have a better chance of being strong for the early flows.

In my case, I'm also interested in breeding bees that are good for my area and mite resistant, so killing them off once a year probably wouldn't be a good idea.

Plenty of people can harvest over 100 lbs and still leave enough for the bees, per hive, so I'm not sure it does make a lot of sense, economically, to order packages.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2004, 11:10:29 PM »

I agree, plus I bonded with this colony cheesy
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2004, 11:40:34 PM »

Quote from: beemaster


 it is reasonable to PUSH your bees to store 2 supers of honey!!!



UH! I have nursed bees (not keeped) 42 years. I have allways tooked honey away.

Just now honey I take from customer 8 $/kg. In the store they take 10 -11$/kg.  Sugar is  1,2$/kg.

If I live two super honey for winter, it would be half of my yield. No way! They get 20 kg sugar and they are satisfied.
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Finman
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2004, 12:02:08 AM »

Quote from: Lesli
Quote from: michael l burnett
why not harvest all the honey,sell it,let bees die and get new ones in spring?


Those are not alternatives. You can take every drop of honey from bees and it will survive ower winter if you give to them 20 kg sugar

Quote
a desire to see if my queens are suited to the climate and such, I'm not sure it is economical, since package bees don't usually produce as much as overwintered bees. Overwintered bees have a better chance of being strong for the early flows. ?



USA is big country and you have many kind of climates and summers.

 In Finland we have been obliged to develope the stock which must be winter hardy.  They stay in they hives from September to March. Willows start to flower at the begining of May.

Quote
In my case, I'm also interested in breeding bees that are good for my area and mite resistant,?


I tried Elqon bees one year. They can kill the mites. But they are angry enough that I do not like them. It is much more easy to give acid handling once a year than get  20 needle in my skin every time when I open the hive.

I have had 20 years mites and it is easy to live with them.


Quote
Plenty of people can harvest over 100 lbs and still leave enough for the bees, per hive, so I'm not sure it does make a lot of sense, economically, to order packages.



My best MEDIUM yield has been 260 lbs honey per hive, but I do not give  not a more for them. They get they sugar, that is spirit of the game.

I do not use feelings when I nurse my bees. Also I do not think them as pets. I use cruel tricks to get honey and I do  not ask them nothing.
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2004, 08:19:28 AM »

Quote from: michael l burnett
why not harvest all the honey,sell it,let bees die and get new ones in spring? it seems cruel, but economical...bees only live a short time anyways....im not a bee hater just a farmer with one eye on the bottom line............................bee cool....brookie.


Why not harvest all the honey and sell the bees to me for $10?  That will increase your bottom line even more Cheesy
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Phoenix
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2004, 10:03:32 AM »

Hey Michael, you've got to be joking right???  Send them my way I'll add $5 to Robo's offer... cheesy
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michael l burnett
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2004, 10:29:36 AM »

certain studies indicate a growing resistance to medications iin mites....can bees survive with out meds, and if so, is there a market for "organic" honey.
   
                 thanks,
                        brookie
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Robo
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« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2004, 10:48:03 AM »

Quote from: michael l burnett
certain studies indicate a growing resistance to medications iin mites....can bees survive with out meds

Absolutely,  the Lusby's have done it on a commercial level
http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/

Quote from: michael l burnett

 and if so, is there a market for "organic" honey.

Depends on your definition of organic. The Lusby's advertise as oil, drug, chemical-free honey produced by organic methods.  If you want to label it as "organic honey"  then you get the good old government involved.
http://bee.airoot.com/beeculture/months/03sep/03sep3.htm
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2004, 11:05:32 AM »

I have read many reports of resistant mites, treatments, etc.  I'm not so sure if the solution doesn't rest with the bees themselves.  Some success is being reported with small cell, shortened pupation etc.  I'm a big fan of no chemicals, of catching swarms locally, of breeding bees which show some resistance.  I don't think we have turned the corner yet, but I no longer believe the extinction of the honeybee in America is eminent. (many people are reporting feral survivors.  I haven't seen it myself, but if so, natural cells size must have something to do with it)

as far as certified as organic honey, this would be nearly impossible for most of us.  No manufacturing, cultivated crops (other than organically grown), no chemically treated lawns, golf courses, or anything else within the flight range of the bees.  Very difficult conditions to find.
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BigRog
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2004, 04:54:20 PM »

If there are resistant feral honeybees that would tell me that evolution is working in a direction that we would all like. In this case evolution would have gone one of two ways. Feral honeybees would have died out or evolved a natural resistance to the varroa mite leaving the only honeybees in the hands of beekeepers who treat their hives. This is very good news, now we need to breed this trait into our hives.
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2004, 06:53:55 PM »

Quote from: BigRog
This is very good news, now we need to breed this trait into our hives.


I think it is more like digressed than evolved.  It seems that the biggest defense that a true feral colony (not a swarmed domesticated colony) has is the size of the bee.

As usual man tried to breed a bigger/better bee and that perhaps is the biggest factor in our varroa mite problem.  As bees digress to their "natural" size, the brood is capped earlier (leaving a smaller time window for a mite to take up residence) and the smaller bee also hatches sooner (which affects the timing of the mites reproduction cycle).

As the Lusby's have shown,  smaller "natural" bees are not as susceptible to varroa as the larger "man-made" bee.
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michael l burnett
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2004, 07:01:40 PM »

thanks...i think the mites are a curse. i pray for my bees..ill let you know how holy ghost oil works.... brookie Cheesy
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