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Author Topic: Honey harvest and fall prep  (Read 1749 times)
FairweatherFarm
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Location: Ashland, Oregon


« on: August 27, 2005, 02:47:39 PM »

Okay, I'm new, my first hive.  And confused.  Partly since I wouldn't
know a nectar flow if it ran down my neck.  The bees are coming home
with pollen in their pockets, does that mean there's nectar somewhere?

I had 2 regular hive bodys and two supers (plastic foundation).  I just
removed one super of honey (actually 7 frames from the super that
had the excluder - 3 didn't have honey although some had a little
comb drawn; and 3 frames that looked like all honey from the lower
super)

The bees were annoyed, so I didn't carefully examine the entire hive,
but it looks on the full side.  There were a number of sticking-out cells
low on frames - not peanut shaped, but sticking out 1/4".  Swarm cells?
Am I at risk of swarming this time of year?  Or are these drone cells?

I could put an empty super back on to give them more space.  Should
I harvest more honey?  Do a split?

thanks,
Lisa
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stilllearning
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Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2005, 03:28:48 PM »

Bees collecting pollen does not mean there is a honey flow going on
the cells you describe sound like drone cell due to shape and location
is your excluder between the deeps and both supers, or is it between
the supers, you may have removed a lot of their winter stores, if
you are robbing below an excluder, look at the brood nest
this time of year brood rearing is at a low the bees know winter
is getting near, make sure they have a little room but dont take
all they have stored unless you intend to feed them all winter.
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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Location: Nehawka, NE


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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2005, 08:44:10 PM »

>The bees are coming home
with pollen in their pockets, does that mean there's nectar somewhere?

It means there's pollen somewhere.  It means it's likely, but not necessarily a sure thing.

>The bees were annoyed, so I didn't carefully examine the entire hive,
but it looks on the full side. There were a number of sticking-out cells
low on frames - not peanut shaped, but sticking out 1/4". Swarm cells?
Am I at risk of swarming this time of year? Or are these drone cells?

Drone.

>I could put an empty super back on to give them more space. Should
I harvest more honey? Do a split?

If they have no room, yes put a super back on so they have somwhere to put the fall flow.  What is your climate?  How much stores do they have?  What's your philosphy on feeding.  Some steal all the honey and then feed them back up. Some (like me) try to leave them enough honey for the winter.

Here (Southeastern Nebraska) with a strong cluster of Italians I like to have about 100 to 150 pounds of honey going into winter.  A little less with Buckfasts.  A little less than that for Carnis and a little less than that for Ferals.

Basically that's three full mediums for a large cluster (or two deeps) and two full mediums for the a medium sized cluster.

I would not do a split this time of year where I live unless I had a booming hive where the bees filled five or six mediums with two of those full of brood.

I see no reason for you to do a split.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
jgarzasr
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Location: Michigan


« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2005, 03:47:06 PM »

I was going to add a post on fall prep - but thought I would add a follow up on this.  I too am new this year to beekeeping - so this will be my first winter.  My current setup is two Brood boxes with currently two supers on one and one super on another.  I believe my one stronger hive (two supers) should have it filled up from the fall flow - and the same with my other hive (one super).  Should I leave all the honey for these bees? - or would I be able to take one super from the stronger hive leaving only the two brood boxes and one super (on both hives).  Would this get them through the winter?  I have not gotten any honey from these bees this year - so I wouldn't mind having some for personal use - even if it is Goldenrod Honey.  (does anyone have any opinion on the taste of GR honey?  I have never tasted it - but the smell of it in the hive is definitely funny.. my daughter standing by the hives said it smelled like butter popcorn - I thought that was funny even though I disagreed).  Anyway.... I have not inspected the bottom deep brood box since mid summer  - and I know I should now - especially to check for mites.  Is this a good time to do that?  Also I know there is a lot of Drone comb (bridge comb) in between the brood boxes - is now a good time to rid of that?  Or should I have removed that a while ago?  I just have not broken those two boxes apart mainly because the last time I tried - I nearly broke my back, and also there were so many bees that it was quite intimidating.  But I would guess that I need to get the hives cleaned up before fall sets in?  Also since both these hives were started this past spring - Should I still replace the queen in both hives?  Thanks for all the replies and sorry about the long message.
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stilllearning
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Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2005, 06:18:24 PM »

where are you located and what size supers are you useing
give us this information and you can get some better
information.
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Wayne Cole
jgarzasr
House Bee
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Posts: 107

Location: Michigan


« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2005, 08:12:35 AM »

I am located in Eaton Rapids, MI - about 15 miles south of Lansing, MI the Capital City.  Thanks.
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