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Author Topic: To Extract or Not to Extract  (Read 1286 times)

Offline beek4018

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To Extract or Not to Extract
« on: September 06, 2010, 04:20:40 PM »
For a while there it looked like my girls were going great guns and would give me at least one full super and possibly more to extract this month.  but they slowed down a lot in August and I'm left with a mixed bag of things spread across two shallow supers.

I don't have an extractor and would be reliant on a couple of friends to bring theirs over and help out.  but given what I've got I'm ot sure it's worth it.  I'm curious to know what you think.

Here's what I've got (as I said this is spread across two shallows):

10 frames - No stores and barely drawn out if at all
3 frames - 98% filled and capped ( the other 2% are a few errant cells across the frames that are full but not capped)
2 frames  - 20% capped and 80% uncapped (some capped on either side of frame)
2 frames - 100% filled and uncapped
1 frame - 70% filled and capped
1 frame - one side 100% filled and capped; the other side is 100 filled but only 50% capped
1 frame 20% filled but uncapped

s you can see it's a mixed bag.

My plan was going to be to harvest all fully capped frames and put the others in a super above the inner cover and lt the bees rob the uncapped back.

But now I'm wondering if it's worth the hassle of moving an extractor around and for seemingly so little.

Also, what can I do wit frames that are partially capped.  If I put those above the inner cover now and let the bees rob the uncapped out can I then extract the capped stuff? Or will they steal everything ( even the capped stuff)?  And how much can I put above the inner cover and be sure they'll clean it up?  I don't want to store drippy frames or partially sealed honey over the winter. Also, how long will it take for them to rob this stuff out?

If I were to decide to feed it all back, do I need to uncap the capped stuff, or can I just put it above the inner cover?


I feel like I need to get this done ASAP, and start feeding to make up the difference.

Sadly I have no room to freeze and store any frames.

Thanks for any help you can give.


Offline AllenF

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 07:34:52 PM »
What do your brood boxes look like?   You may need that little bit of honey for them for winter.  You might just take a frame for you to eat on and leave the rest.   The few unfilled frames I left in a couple of boxes from summer are now cleaned out by the bees.   They are eating more than they take in and moving the rest of the honey down.

Offline beek4018

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 10:09:16 PM »
I do need more stores for winter.  I have no problem giving it back to them.

Is it really worth extracting just one frame if I don't have the equipment and have to borrow and set it all up and then clean it out?


Offline hardwood

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 10:20:23 PM »
Crush and strain.

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Offline beek4018

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2010, 10:22:34 PM »
Okay, but that ruins comb for next year.  And it is still only three frames worth.

Do it matter that there will be foundation in there when I strain?

Offline beek4018

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2010, 10:25:27 PM »
I'm leaning towards giving it all back to them.

If I put the supers above the inner cover, do I need to scratch the caps off the capped stores, or will they rob that as well without me removing the caps?

Offline AllenF

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2010, 10:29:38 PM »
You do not have to place them above the inner cover, but you can.  Some place the honey super on bottom and they will move the honey above the brood.  And they will move the honey better with the caps off.

Offline tandemrx

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2010, 10:47:51 PM »
or, when your friend is extracting, bring over your three capped frames and have him/her extract.

If friend is extracting some unfinished supers you can have him/her spin yours out too and feed it back.

Then get feeders on your hive pronto and feed them sugar syrup.

Certainly no guarantee that putting  above inner cover will get them to move it.  They may still place nectar in it and you just lost more time for them to start filling their hive bodies.

I haven't had luck putting supers to be even cleaned up after extracting above the inner cover.  Bees just stuck more nectar in them.

Offline kathyp

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2010, 12:28:29 AM »
you have what for brood boxes?    what do the stores look like in the brood boxes?

if your brood boxes have adequate stores for winter, you can freeze all the frames in the shallows and feed them back in the spring.  if the brood boxes do not have adequate stores, you can still pull and freeze the shallows for later and start feeding the hive.  

if you want to feed back the honey you can 1. crush and strain.  they will build new comb next year.  2.  put the honey supers away from the hive and let them rob them out...understanding that you will probably draw bees from  around the area also.

personally, i'd freeze the frames and feed syrup for now.  i wouldn't bother extracting that much because half of it will end up coating the extractor and you'll probably lose as much that way as you would letting them rob out the supers.

if you freeze, put wax paper between the frames and under them.  that will catch any drips and make them easier to handle when you take them out.  if you have room to drop the whole super into a chest freezer, that works well also.
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Offline greenbtree

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2010, 02:16:08 AM »
Not worth moving an extractor for.  If you want just a taste you could uncap a side of the frame or even just part of a side, lay uncapped side down over a big bowl and let gravity do the rest.  Cover with a towel to keep gnats or flies out and leave it overnight.  I did this once and it worked fine.

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Offline beek4018

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Re: To Extract or Not to Extract
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2010, 08:31:11 AM »
Thanks all.

Kathy - I've got two 10-frame deeps for brood.  Population looks strong, but stores are a bit light.  Need to feed 2:1 syrup, but think feeding back stores will help speed up the process.