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Author Topic: When to remove honey supers in NE Ohio  (Read 1443 times)
ruth
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« on: September 08, 2012, 05:16:10 PM »

Question - when is the right time to remove all honey supers and let the bees get ready for the winter? I am located in North-East Ohio - right now the goldenrod has just come into bloom, and I know some people harvest the golden-rod honey - but I want to give the bees enough time to prep their stores - so WHEN do we remove the supers and when do we start feeding?

Obviously I know the bees don't have a calendar - but some general guidelines would be great, and also what are other NE Ohio beekeepers doing right now?
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"They alone hold children in common: own the roofs of their city as one: and pass their life under the might of the law. They alone know a country, and a settled home, and in summer, remembering the winter to come, undergo labour, storing their gains for all."
Virgil, Georgics IV, 154-157
colbees
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 07:27:47 PM »

a good time to take off the supers for the season would be after the final flow. if some of your supers are full you can take them off and extract, the ones that are not leave on.
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ruth
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 09:59:58 AM »

But how do you KNOW when the honey flows are over?
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"They alone hold children in common: own the roofs of their city as one: and pass their life under the might of the law. They alone know a country, and a settled home, and in summer, remembering the winter to come, undergo labour, storing their gains for all."
Virgil, Georgics IV, 154-157
T Beek
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2012, 01:03:41 PM »

Goldenrod is generally the last flow of the season in the U.S. 

Watch your bees, watch which plants are blooming and being visited, which are past peak.  An observant beek can learn alot just by watching.

t
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 04:39:11 PM »

Are your honey supers full?    What do the frames look like.   You pull full frames and full boxes in your honey supers. Keep them on until they are full. 
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BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 06:42:43 PM »

It’s usually pretty noticeable (make that smell-able) when the goldenrod flow is on.   I like to extract the lighter honey before the goldenrod flow and put some supers back on just in case they pack in a lot of goldenrod.  So the question kind of becomes, have you extracted yet? 

If not, then I would probably do as Allen says and start pulling supers/frames that are capped and extracting.  The warmer the weather, the easier the process is.  You sure don’t have to wait until the golden rod flow is done.  Any flow after you pull the supers, the bees will store for their winter usage.   

Consolidate frames that are not capped into a single box, or whatever it takes.  If you’re running mediums in wood hives in Ohio, I’m guessing you’re going to want to winter with 3 medium boxes.  You’re going to want those upper 2 mediums to be filled with something (honey/syrup) within about a month.   
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 08:44:24 PM »

I just run into folks down here that ask for help when to rob the honey and find they have 4 empty boxes on top and they did not know that or only 1 or 2 honey bound brood boxes for a hive.   One lady this summer called me all in a panic because all of her bees were on the front of her hive.   Asked her a few questions and found out the hive was a single body warre hive that was not opened since she got it 4 months earlier.  She had the boxes, but was afraid to put them on.  No she was not going to get any honey this year.   
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ruth
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »

I have honey - each hive has one full honey super and a second honey super that was just over half-filled a week ago. So I know there is capped honey - and I know there is still space for more - but I don't want to interfere with the bees' chances of getting their own stores ready for winter. I'd rather harvest only half a super (providing it's ready) than run the risk of the bees not making it through winter.

I have deep supers for the brood boxes and shallow for the honey, so will need to remove all honey supers for winter.
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"They alone hold children in common: own the roofs of their city as one: and pass their life under the might of the law. They alone know a country, and a settled home, and in summer, remembering the winter to come, undergo labour, storing their gains for all."
Virgil, Georgics IV, 154-157
BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2012, 10:35:45 AM »

So I assume your configuration is two deeps and a couple of shallow supers and you’re going to winter in double deeps?  If one super is filled and they’re working on the second one, the odds are your second deep box (bees winter food) is already packed full of honey and very heavy.  That being the case, all the bees really need to do yet for winter is backfill some of the brood nest with honey. 

When you go to extract, I would just pull all the shallow supers, extract the capped honey and put the uncapped supers outside for the bees to rob.  The honey they rob out of the uncapped frames will then get stored into the double deeps for winter.  The final result being each double deep hive will be packed with honey before winter.  The bees can then move up through the honey during the winter without hitting any dry spots and starving.
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AllenF
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2012, 04:55:20 PM »

Ditto on uncapped frames for fall feed for filling the double deeps for winter.   
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