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Author Topic: Pulling honey, need advice.  (Read 1262 times)
DayValleyDahlias
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« on: March 28, 2009, 09:37:27 PM »

Scenario:

3 bustling colonies.  I was not prepared to pull honey in my inspection today.  I checked all the hive bodies and there were SO many bees there was NO way to see a queen.  There was a great amount of capped larvae and all, tons of honey which I am going to need to pull, as one colony is 6 mediums high, one is 5 and the other is 4 deeps and a medium!

No signs of swarm cells as of today.

I have never pulled off such a large quantity of honey before, so I humbly ask al of you your methods which cause least harm to the bees.

My colonies do not have inner covers as they are the migratory type top, if that makes any difference.

So good people, I await your suggestions!

S
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 09:42:21 PM »

Yeah Sharon

Wait for more replies.  The only way I ever took honey is to remove the frames of honey one at a time and brush the bees off and place the honey frame into another super in the back of my car.  I never had your volume of honey at one time.

Happy for you that you got this much honey. The bees sound very strong and happy.

Annette
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BjornBee
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2009, 09:49:59 PM »

Are the boxes on top full of honey and void of brood?
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2009, 10:01:12 PM »

Are the boxes on top full of honey and void of brood?

Yes they are Bjorn
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RayMarler
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2009, 10:08:13 PM »

IF you have a nectar flow going on right now, you can take off all the supers and seperate them and place them in a line right near the front board of your hive, 1/2 hour before dark. the bees will exit the supers and go home to the hive as it gets dark. in the early to mid morning you can get the supers and move them to be extracted, most of the bees will have left. This only works if you in nectar flow and if no critters will damage the honey supers left out over night.

or, you can get an escape board and put under the bottom super in the stack, the bees can go down but not up thru the board. It might takea  few days for that large stack of supers to empty out.
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2009, 10:40:26 PM »

Another thing you can do is seperate them individually and smoke from the bottom up forcing them out.

Of course a fume board with beequick works quite well.

Sharon, look into getting a fume board. You apply a little beequick on the underside of the board, wait a minute, then place it over the hive. It runs the bees down and out of your supers. Pull 'em and stack 'em.


...JP
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 01:01:10 AM »

All fabulous advice and I thank you one and all.

If I go the fume board route, I only need one fume board correct, so I just work one colony at a time?
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 01:14:42 AM »

i pull the supers and put them over an empty super at an angle or an empty bottom board.  they leave the honey super and go back to their hive.  you can do a whole stack and just remove one at a time as the bees move down and out.
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 12:06:59 PM »

All fabulous advice and I thank you one and all.

If I go the fume board route, I only need one fume board correct, so I just work one colony at a time?

Do one colony at a time, but give them all smoke before you start.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 12:17:39 PM »

Ray covered what I would do.  If there is a flow, I'd do the abandonment method he describes.  Otherwise I tend to use a triangular bee escape and a brush.
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sean
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 09:15:25 PM »

I always carry empty boxes(supers) and a couple covers with me. Take the frames out of the hive brush/shake off bees, place frames in empty boxes and cover.  As the extra boxes fill up just stack them on each other using the one cover per stack
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sc-bee
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2009, 10:20:17 PM »

If you use a fume board method --- be sure to use BEE Quick --- not Honey Robber or Bee Go. Bee Quick has a pleasant odor ( kinda like almonds) the other smell like puke and I mean for years!!! Sometimes Bee Quick is a little slow, in clearing the supers, especially on a cooler cloudy day. Use Bee Quick and if not supers are not clear enough then use bee brush etc.

Remember to have a top (cover) to place on bottom and top of the super stack as you place them on the truck. This helps keep the bees from returning (robbing) the supers. Especially if the flow has weakened. And also helps with the mess (honey dripping) in the pick-up bed.

Never tried the abandonment method --- not sure if it would work in my hot, humid temps???
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 11:00:32 AM »

Wow, still more amazing info...yahoo!
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 11:11:09 AM »

If I decide to pull the supers off and allow the bees to return to the hive, how close should I place the supers to the colonies?

The little bee area in on a slope, I am 5'1" and maybe 110...Also skunks can get into the yard, would that be a problem leaving the supers out over night?


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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2009, 08:14:16 PM »

If I decide to pull the supers off and allow the bees to return to the hive, how close should I place the supers to the colonies?

The little bee area in on a slope, I am 5'1" and maybe 110...Also skunks can get into the yard, would that be a problem leaving the supers out over night?




Not if you're a member of PETA and want to feed the wildlife but if you want honey to harvest I wouldn't leave it out overnight in an area where skunks, opposums, bears, or raccoons range for food.
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