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Author Topic: What to do with leftover capped winter honey  (Read 1453 times)
timjea
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« on: March 15, 2010, 11:23:22 PM »

I was fairly conservative when I pulled honey in the fall, and at this point have several mediums 80% still full of honey.  A rough count today was 42-43 medium frames.  Should I leave it for now, and insert empty supers below the full ones, or wait and extract them early April and give them back to fill with the first nectar flow, or what?  I'm thinking its a good problem to have, but to keep managing them out in the field until a June extraction or even September will be aggravating.

I even thought about pulling them off the hives now, and setting them up as open air feeders about 100 yards away thinking this might trigger the bees to beleive spring is here and boost the queens activity.  I think if I leave them on, it supports swarm instincts.  Lots of food, brood, and no room to store new nectar.

I think I like the take it home and extract it idea.  I had an open air syrup feeder set up in the fall until they quit flying.
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doak
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2010, 11:28:09 PM »

If it is clean caps. I would make sure the bees have enough and take some.
If you put it out for feed you may cause a robbing frenzy.
I just got through doing about 25 frames. :)doak
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Highlandsfreedom
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2010, 11:34:04 PM »

My only question would be how much of the capped honey is from fall feeding and how much is honey?  I agree if you set it out you might get a frenzy going and we have a video of a full on fight in out back yard last year when we were extracting I thought it would be a good idea to let the girls clean up the left over honey and the carnage was EVERYWHERE!!!
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2010, 01:55:56 AM »


I have a big problem too with those frames.

During spring I can feed some frames to hives but main system is.

I put 2 frames in a week between brood frames. Bees clean the frames. Part of sugar crystals melt in the heat of 36C.

I can do that trick only when the hive has   a honey super. They move the honey to the super and mix it to the new honey.

During rainy weather it is good to give those frames. If I give during nectar flow, they will cap the honey again.

If I have a swarm or false swarm, I give 3 to the hive 3 crystallized frames and the rest foundations. After a week bees have eaten the old honey and they have drawn foundations.

It is a bad extra job but i do not want to loose that honey.

It is a bad job too because the feeding adds swarming tendency, I suppose.


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beee farmer
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2010, 02:40:50 AM »

Extracting winter honey is a pain, you will find that some if not all has chrystalized in the comb and extracting is further agervated by the honey being cool. if you treated in the fall you would not want to sell this honey.  You can store it to feed back as long as you dont have SHB, if you do they will slime the combs if you dont freeze the frames.  You move it away from the hives and let them rob out the honey, they will chew some of the comb out because its chrystalized and loose a percentage of the honey as energy used to redo the honey but it will sitmulate brood rearing early so you can capitolize on the first honey flow.  All stated above is just MHO 
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JP
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2010, 09:10:08 AM »

Just a reminder not to pull it too early. With the spring build up you will have many new mouths to feed and they will consume a good bit before the flow. So take some but keep some, definitely want to keep them strong.

And you may want to invest in a large freezer. I always keep some in the freezer. That way its always available.


...JP
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Finski
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2010, 11:30:38 AM »

.
If problem is 25 frames, it is not much. it is 2,5 boxes.

You may do it so too that you take cappings off. Them let the hive lick one box over night.
Then spray water onto cells and the crystals will be diluted. Next the cells will be quite clean.
But bees need free combs where they more the honey.

Put crystallized honey above the brood area. It is hottest place where crystals will melt easily.

I have tens of boxes again that stuff.

Once I made a big mistake. I melted with hot air gun the cappings and it gove an awfull taste into the honey.  Really stupid tool that gun in the honey job.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 02:23:10 PM »

Agree with JP.  You could have a few weeks of cold yet to come and you wouldn't want to pull it too soon.

Also, if the spring build up hasn't really started yet in OK, the bees will consume a lot of honey feeding all of those new bees.
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timjea
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2010, 05:58:36 PM »

I guess I'll leave it be for a while yet, we might get a cold spell.  Later this week the temps aresupposed to be high 60's so I will be able to inspect brood and buildup size.  There are two of my colonies that appear to be pretty darn big right now (judging from front door activity and looking through inner cover).  I'll probably use one or a combination of the ideas above and just feed it back to them to handle the crystals.  I didn't use any chemicals last year so no fear there.  Thanks for the thought provoking input.
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