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Author Topic: Another dive into the hive  (Read 2212 times)
Kris^
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« on: August 26, 2004, 07:39:33 PM »

Came home from work early and it was such a nice day, I decided to try pull a few frames of honey from the hive.  I was somewhat disappointed when I got in there.  I'd anticipated 6 to 8 full frames of honey, based on the fact that there were that many incompletely filled frames in the super two weeks ago, just waiting for brood to emerge and get filled.  The brood is gone, but the empty cells were only slowly being filled.  And the second super I'd put on with foundation was only slowly being drawn.  In fact, a wet frame of comb I put in there after having extracted the honey two weeks ago actually seemed to have decreased, broken up and taken away by the bees.

Ok, so I've come to despise the queen excluder.  Seems that's the common factor when the colony slows building comb in the supers.  I might have also discovered another problem the excluder causes.  When I pulled the supers off, there were clumps of dead bees lying on top the grid.   Some of them were recently dead, and some had been dead quite a while.  I suspect that they died in one of the supers, and the undertaker bees tried to drag them out as well as they could -- but got hung up when they got to the excluder.  There were a few dozen corpses there, some pulled halfway through the grid.  

So I removed the excluder -- again! -- and reversed the supers to put the  more full one on top.  I'll see how it goes in the next few weeks; I figure I have about 4 more weeks for them to work on it before I start medicating and feeding them for winter.  

What  do you do with incomplete frames of honey when you pull the supers for winter?

For an experiment, I split and cut a few pieces of wood lathe and fashioned a makeshift Imirie shim between the two supers.  I'll see if that speeds them up, or just causes a burr comb problem.  None of them have used the second entrance yet.

-- Kris
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2004, 08:51:04 PM »

If the honey isn't capped it could not be ripe.  there are a couple of different thoughts on this. ..

Some say to not use it, at the end of the season, put the inner cover on top of the brood chamber and the wet supers on top of the inner cover.  the bees will move the honey down.


I was told to try and shake the frame of honey, by holding it with the comb up, if any nectar came out, it was not ripe and do not extract  it.    If nothing comes out of either side, then you can extract it.    This is what I did last year and what I did extract from drawn, but not capped frames was fine.
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Anonymous
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« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2004, 09:49:47 PM »

Kris

The excluder may not be the culprit this time. In midsummer there is typically a dearth period in which there is not enough nectar producing flowers around for the bees to actually produce any honey and since your colony is at its largest size as far as number of bees go, they may have to tap into the reserves that they have built up so far. We have been in a dearth here for the past couple of weeks. There have been plenty of blooming ornamentals in the neighborhood yards but nothing for the bees to gather a good nectar crop from.

My bees have just started to gather nectar and pollen from the largest flowering of touch-me-nots (jewelweed) that I can remember seeing around here. The goldenrod is just starting to bloom and the asters are budding up to start blooming soon. I expect the fall flow to be a good one, maybe as good as the spring one was.

I agree with Leoministerbeeman as far as the uncapped honey goes. When you take your supers off if you have a hive that needs some more stores for the winter, just feed it to them. That way it isn't wasted, and you save youself the time and hassle of mixing up sugar syrup for them.
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Finman
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« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2004, 11:53:03 PM »

Quote from: Kris^
The brood is gone, but the empty cells were only slowly being filled.  And the second super I'd put on with foundation was only slowly being drawn.  


Bees have often hapit, taht they gather honey from chilly corners and move it in the center of hive. - I wait that this happen and I can rob honey easily.


Quote
In fact, a wet frame of comb I put in there after having extracted the honey two weeks ago actually seemed to have decreased, broken up and taken away by the bees.


Bees comsume a lot honey when flowers are gone but they have larvas.


Quote

Ok, so I've come to despise the queen excluder.  Seems that's the common factor when the colony slows building comb in the supers.  


Exluder is a barrier in the hive in many cases. That is why it is uncomfortable to use it.

Quote
I might have also discovered another problem the excluder causes.  When I pulled the supers off, there were clumps of dead bees lying on top the grid.


Are they robbing bees?  

Quote
What  do you do with incomplete frames of honey when you pull the supers for winter?


before exracting I keep honey in the chamber where I have 2000 W thermostat heater with propel.  After couple of days heater dry up open honey. If you keep waming on one week, honey will dry under caps so much that it is difficulta to exract.


Also i can put open honey to winter storage. It is same that exracted combs consist 20% of frame's honey.  2 kg honey in frame, and 400 g stays in comps.

[/quote]
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Robo
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2004, 08:40:42 AM »

The shake method that Leominister suggested is a good indication.  If it isn't 90% or so capped,  I usually leave it for the bees.  There where a couple of homemade honey dryer gadgets in the BeeCulture a while back. If anyone wants to see them, I'll see if I can dig out the articles.

If you decide to take some that you feel is questionable, keep it seperate when extracting.  Its better to have just the questionable stuff go bad than to have it contaminate all you honey and loose it all.
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Sting
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2004, 04:28:01 PM »

Quote from: Robo
If you decide to take some that you feel is questionable, keep it seperate when extracting.


This iffy stuff is perfect for making mead.  There are lots of easy recipes on the web for making this ancient tasty brew.
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