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Author Topic: Bees did not use much honey during winter?  (Read 486 times)
Dr. B in Wisconsin
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« on: April 09, 2013, 05:45:45 PM »

Hello everyone
This has been a verrrry long winter in Wisconsin, high of 37 Thursday. I went into the winter with lots of bees, looked very healthy, I had 2 deeps pretty much full of honey and a super also. I was getting a little nervous and did not get a chance to take a peek all winter. I poured a little dry sugar on top of the frames and they did take about a week ago. It was warmer for a couple of days ago and I saw them flying so I took the hive apart and wooo those deeps I could hardly lift, the frames were still full of lots of honey and to my suprise there were lots of bees.

A couple of questions, some of the honey in frames was a couple of years old, this my 4Th year, does that capped honey in the deeps stay OK and good for winter use and for how long??
I want to put some fresh frames in the deep that I took off and I know that they will fill the outsides of the deep, sooo I plan on taking the honey from the deeps for ME and then put the 2 or 3 year old frames back in for winter, I went down to 1 deep and moved the super to the bottom. Make any sense? Opinions?
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 07:45:13 PM »

Honey doesn't spoil. 
I don't see any sense of moving a super full of honey to the bottom.
 You might consider rotating it out. If the bees aren't going to eat it, you might as well pull a couple frames and give them some empties. As the empties get filled, remove a couple more of the old honey and put a couple empty frames in the middle. Keep going till you remove all the old honey, but never removing it before they replace what you've taken.
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dfizer
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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 10:45:05 PM »

This does beg the question - can you go into spring / summer with too much honey?  I have a very similar situation whereas the top deeps are absolutely loaded with honey - as in 7 of 10 frames completely full with the other 3 more than 70 percent full.  How should I handle this situation? 

I assume that some of this needs to come off but how much and should I just reuse the frames after honey is has been harvested?

David
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 11:13:47 PM »

This does beg the question - can you go into spring / summer with too much honey?  I have a very similar situation whereas the top deeps are absolutely loaded with honey - as in 7 of 10 frames completely full with the other 3 more than 70 percent full.  How should I handle this situation? 

I assume that some of this needs to come off but how much and should I just reuse the frames after honey is has been harvested?

David
If the bees aren't covering the comb, you may put your hive at risk for wax moth or small hive beetles. That would be the only thing I know of that would suggest going into spring/summer with too much honey.
 If your brood box is full of honey, pull the ones out of the middle, leaving a frame of honey on each side, and replace then with either empty frames or frames with empty comb to give the queen room to lay eggs.
 After you extract honey, you can put the frames back in the hive for the bees to clean up.
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bailey
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 12:46:46 AM »

Yes you can go into spring with too much honey.  They can become honey bound quick in the spring and swarm very early.
Bailey
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Finski
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 01:20:24 AM »

Yes you can go into spring with too much honey.  They can become honey bound quick in the spring and swarm very early.
Bailey

Bailey is right.  YOu must take extra food away that you get space for brood and pollen.

To get rid of old honey is one trouble, but it is better to do.
- but without braking valuable combs, like many guys advice.


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dfizer
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 09:38:25 AM »

How much honey should I leave behind?  Also, can most honey extractors handle deep frames.... I'm going to be extracting about 25-30 full frames of solid honey.  How much honey should that produce?

David
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 09:58:29 AM »

.
In spring I keep 2-3 full frames of food in the box which is full of bees.

YOu cannot extract cryztallized honey or sugar syrup.

When summer comes, feed crystallised honey graually to the hive. They mix it to new honey.

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Course Bee
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 01:54:44 PM »

You can plan on around 5.5 pounds of honey per frame. Most extractors will handle deeps just not as many and you may have to extract one side at a time.
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Tim
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