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Author Topic: Bees not cleaning up honey from cappings bucket.  (Read 1158 times)
Intheswamp
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« on: July 25, 2012, 11:51:45 AM »

Ok, I bottled the honey from my cappings the other day.  Uncapping was done with a heated capping plane.  This was the last of my honey to be bottled so I sat my 5-gallon gated bucket out for the bees to clean up.  In the previous buckets that they cleaned up I put a handful of grass in the bucket for them to walk on while getting the honey...the buckets ended up so clean that the grass freely moved around in the bucket...you could simply turn the buckets upside down and the grass would fall out.

Getting back to the bucket that had the cappings honey residue in it....   I did this one just like the previous buckets, same spot (~16' from nearest hive), same setup *except* no grass.  The bucket has been out there over three days and honey is still standing in the bottom of it. huh   Previously the bees would wrap the bucket up on the inside and outside and have it cleaned up by sundown, I haven't seen any bees on this bucket.  Just seems kind of strange to me. 

The bees seem to be doing fine...all three hives have been washboarding in the evening a little bit and flying some in the mornings and evenings...nothing unusual.  I even stuck my finger in the honey yesterday and tasted it to see if something was "off" about it.  This honey did come out of the cappings and uncapping was done with a heated plane and *to me* the honey tastes slightly "burned" Huh...but everybody else says it tastes fine and nothing "burned" about it.  Could the plane have heated this honey to a point of almost carmelization(sic?) and the bees are avoiding it?  There's not a lot around here blooming right now to lure them away from the honey, though there are a few sporadic patches of wildflowers but it would be a really weak flow if it is a flow.

I'm confused...but it doesn't take much to make me that way.  Undecided

Ed
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JP
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2012, 12:19:38 PM »

ED, your hives could be full with stores and just don't have the need to bring in more honey. That would be my first and best guess. My other guess would be they simply have not locked in on the source yet albeit it has been three days so I'm betting they just don't need it.

Be careful with buckets or other deep containers with honey or other sweet substances as they can become death traps. Bees get sticky and can't get away to groom themselves. They often wind up drowning in the bottom of the container.

I'm assuming this is why you put the grass in the bottom of your bucket but still thought I'd mention it for those who have yet to learn this hard lesson.


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Intheswamp
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2012, 04:41:23 PM »

I went through the hives last Saturday.  They have plenty of stores right now but also have ample room up top to store some more if they felt so inclined.  I'll check them again this Saturday and see how their stores look.

I would say that they don't need it, too, but strangely there's no wasps or other critters messing with it...at least while I'm around it.  Kinda makes me wonder about it.  Other than the hint of a smokey(?) taste it tastes like regular honey to me.

Ah well, if nothing else I'll pour it out a good piece from the hives and let the ants have at it.

I have the bucket sitting on a step stool slightly tilted upwards with a cover over the top side to keep any rain out.  Tilted upwards like that the honey pools in the bottom corner so I threw the grass in there for the bees to walk on if they needed to.  Seems to work pretty good. 

I would mix a cup of sugar syrup up and see if they go for it, but I still may pull a little more honey off of the hives so I'll refrain for now. Smiley

Thanks for the feedback!
Ed

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American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2012, 06:25:25 PM »

Sounds to me as if you still have a flow on and the bees are more interested in the nectar than the honey. Try putting a little bit of extracted honey out for them and see if they go for it. If they do you'll know that they don't care for they "possibly" burnt stuff.

Scott
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2012, 06:51:16 PM »

I have never seen bees turn down free honey.   They even clean up the towel I hang out for them that has the drippings that I clean up. 
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duck
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2012, 07:23:28 PM »

setup a table in front of your hives, and dump it out on the table.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 12:30:43 AM »

I dunno what's going on.  It's been strange.  I'll pour some out on a bucket bottom and set in front of the hives tomorrow along with some of my regular honey and see if they pay either any attention.  Maybe something is out there they're getting a lot of...they're flying some but nothing like this past spring.  We'll see.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
annette
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 07:35:30 PM »

This has happened to me more than once. I took about 5-6 days before they discovered the dripping honey supers, then they went crazy. I figured they had something more interesting to forage out there. A flow on??

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T Beek
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 03:09:42 PM »

During a flow it would'nt be unusual for them to ignore a free meal of honey.  I'd move it further away (100yards if possible) and give it a few more days if open feeding in a bucket (Think Robbing!!).  

And, I'd NEVER just pour it in front of a hive unless you're trying to start some trouble (again; think Robbing!).

With left over cappings and such I just place an empty box above the inner cover with another inner cover above that (both holes open) and another empty super, this time filled w/ the cappings or wet frames on top of that.  This fools bees into thinking they're leaving the hive to feed and its ALL THEIRS, so its a good way to feed a weak colony.  They'll clean it up by taking it downstairs in about 24 hours making the cleaned frames ready to use right away in another hive.

Other than that I must agree w/ JP, Allen, Annette and hardwood; a flow is on, the bees have enough honey or 'think' they do.  

Remember; Just placing an empty super on top of a box already filled w/ honey (that the queen will not cross) will seldom result in them filling the top one w/ honey.  Beeks must encourage them to do so by pulling some of the lower honey frames up into the top supers ala 'checkerboarding/KYBO.'

Good Luck!

t
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 04:48:47 PM »

Ok, I checked this morning and nada...nothing has touched either the cappings honey or the little bit of extracted honey that I put out. 

This morning before work I was walking behind the hives listening to the them.  The strong hive had a good hum going while the two smaller ones had less volume, naturally.  I noticed that below the middle hive (weakest one) that there was what looked like small bits of chewed comb hung up in a spider web below it...about as much as a couple of good shakes of some ground pepper.  I know all kinds of debris will appear below the hive but for some reason this has me a little worried...I think I'm beginning to get a little paranoid.  huh  Robbing causes bits of wax, but I've seen nothing to make me think of robbing.  Does emerging broods also drop wax bits?  I'll be checking this hive hopefully this evening when I get home, if not then then in the morning.

I've made note of placing honey covered equipment to be cleaned up further away, T Beek.  I'll move the bucket a piece away and see what happens.

Thanks for the feedback, I'll keep ya'll posted.

Ed

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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
Intheswamp
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2012, 04:50:39 PM »

This has happened to me more than once. I took about 5-6 days before they discovered the dripping honey supers, then they went crazy. I figured they had something more interesting to forage out there. A flow on??

Thanks for posting that, annette.  I was getting ready to rinse the bucket out and forget it but I'll move the bucket further away and give it another couple of days.  It's not a lot of honey, but I figured every little bit will help the girls.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2012, 05:21:08 PM »

This morning before work I was walking behind the hives listening to the them.  The strong hive had a good hum going while the two smaller ones had less volume, naturally.  I noticed that below the middle hive (weakest one) that there was what looked like small bits of chewed comb hung up in a spider web below it.

Makes me think they are chewing down the honey band at the top of frames and placing brood adjacent to that.  I bet you have frames with capped brood adjacent to the honey band.
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