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Author Topic: Honey from dead hive  (Read 1652 times)
Pond Creek Farm
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« on: December 19, 2010, 03:54:05 PM »

We had a warmer day today and I noticed no activity from two hives.  I checked and both are gone.  One had adequate supplies of honey, the other had clearly been gone awhile longer as it had been robbed out for the most part.  I gathered the equipment and brought it back to the barn but left the deeps and a shallow full of honey set up on a bottom board and under a migratory cover.  I plan to use whateverhoney is left to boost some packages next spring or to feed to the remaining hives if they need it.  Can I just leave it out there, or must I bring it in? I really do not have the freezer space to store it.

Incidentally I saw a lot of what I suspect to be mites on the bottom board of one of the dead hives (the other had too much wax debris to tell).  Both of these hives were on solid bottom boards while the others are on screens with a tray to slide in oil for a beetle trap.  I am not certain if this is coincidence or has some meaning for the mite issue here.  I think the former for me since I have managed to kill bees on a screened bottom board too.  I also noticed almost no brood at all in either hive.  This makes me wonder if something happened to the queen or this is simply what a hive in December looks like brood-wise.
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Brian
sarafina
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 10:00:34 PM »

Did you do any form of treatment for mites on the hives you lost?
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 10:05:46 PM »

With the drawn frames with honey, you must keep it free of moths and beetles while waiting for your packages.  Freezing would be best, but look into spraying with bt.   I would save them for spring.
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iddee
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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 10:11:17 PM »

You don't have to keep them frozen. After a few nights of freezing weather, bring them in and place them in plastic garbage bags. tape all openings so they are totally sealed. they can then be kept anywhere till spring.
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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 10:25:46 PM »

For future reference I would suggest reducing your entrances if you hadn't already. This will help the hive to better keep out robbers.


...JP
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2010, 11:45:41 PM »

I gathered the equipment and brought it back to the barn but left the deeps and a shallow full of honey set up on a bottom board and under a migratory cover.  I plan to use whateverhoney is left to boost some packages next spring or to feed to the remaining hives if they need it.

I wouldn't leave honey out unattended any time of the year, too many pests. Put the super on a good hive, then in the spring when you get packages you can give them what hasn't been needed. The rest of the equipment is fine to just sit out once the wax moths have been frozen.
No brood in December, some(a couple hundred)maybe in January and then occasionally until early spring.

Goodluck
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T Beek
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 06:35:44 AM »

Don't leave outside, your inviviting problems. Like idde said, store as you'd store any honey after freezing.  If your not gonna put super on another hive I really think you should try to freeze, even just overnite, then plastic up , store in your pantry till Spring.  Good luck.

thomas
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Bee-Bop
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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 09:12:55 AM »



I wouldn't leave honey out unattended any time of the year, too many pests. Put the super on a good hive, then in the spring when you get packages you can give them what hasn't been needed. The rest of the equipment is fine to just sit out once the wax moths have been frozen.
No brood in December, some(a couple hundred)maybe in January and then occasionally until early spring.

Goodluck
[/quote]

Putting it on a good hive !!  All these years I guess I've been doing it wrong, For winter I try to reduce the size of the hive, not add boxes to it.

I'll have to study up on this I guess ABC-XYZ here I come.

Bee-Bop
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T Beek
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 09:18:07 AM »

Surprized no one else suggested this, but you could just consume the honey yourself as an option, and not save any.

thomas
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WPG
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 04:59:13 PM »

No, not wrong, just different. Your winters are different than here.

Since he was talking about using the honey for feeding the bees and not for himself, leaving the super on a hive is the easiest and best way to keep it till then.
Leaving extra stores above the winter cluster increases the chances of survival. They will be able to move up when it is too cold for the cluster to move sideways to the outer frames.
He still could retrieve frames of honey from the sides of perhaps multible boxes in the spring to feed weaker hives or packages as he needed.
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Pond Creek Farm
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2010, 07:55:44 PM »

Thanks for the advice.  I will likely wait until a really cold couple of days and then wrap in plastic and keep in the barn.  To answer some of the questions, I did not treat this or any of my hives.  The honey that is in the supers and the deeps has a healthy dose of sugar water in it as I topped off all the hives with 2:1 thoroughout late August to November, so I did not want to pull it for our use.  In any event I have many jars of it from the summer's harvest.   JP is right, I should have used entrance reducers.  This is something I knew, but simply kept putting it off.  I am putting some on the remaining hives just for good measure this week end.  I do not think robbing was the cause of the loss, however, as there was also no brood in the hive. (Unless the robbing would affect brood rearing too which it might for all I know). 
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Brian
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2010, 08:06:48 PM »

Brian, if a hive gets a serious azz whoopin' from being robbed out, the queen could be killed. Without any resources for them to make a new queen/without human intervention, they are doomed.

In dearths or weak flows bees will be on the prowl for anything sweet is why I mentioned using reducers, particularly so on young/weak or small colonies.

Been there.


...JP
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2010, 05:40:31 PM »

No, not wrong, just different. Your winters are different than here.

Since he was talking about using the honey for feeding the bees and not for himself, leaving the super on a hive is the easiest and best way to keep it till then.
Leaving extra stores above the winter cluster increases the chances of survival. They will be able to move up when it is too cold for the cluster to move sideways to the outer frames.He still could retrieve frames of honey from the sides of perhaps multible boxes in the spring to feed weaker hives or packages as he needed.

The cluster does not move, the bees will cluster at the top of the brood chamber, where it will remain the entire winter.  Once the bees consume the honey under foot (that within the cluster) the bees replenish the honey under foot from the outer reaches of the hive during those warmer days of winter (above freezing).  This is why a beekeeper will find a hive that died of starvation with frames of honey all around it.  Prolonged periods of below freezing weather prevent the bees from breaking cluster enough to replenish the stores under foot, they do this at the same time they take their periodical cleansing flights.

If close attention is paid in the spring, especially in a situation where an additional super was added to the hive after harvest, the beekeeper will note the absence of bees in the added super,this is especially true if that super had never had brood reared in it.
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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2010, 07:10:06 AM »

Thanks, that is a fantastic explanation.  I try and tell southern beek friends that the cluster moves very little if at all for quite awhile up here and that sometimes I won't see a "live" bee for 3-4 months, they think I'm keeping some kinda super bee or another species. 

My question/assumption (not sure) is since the clusters on my Lang hives are still closer to the bottom, with lots of honey above them, they "should" have good access to the honey above.  I listen to location of cluster with a stethascope and can follow their progress as they move around, but so far they're staying low, for now.  My guess is that that is a good thing during winter, right?

thomas
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