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Author Topic: Harvest and Winter Prep  (Read 442 times)
kenthold
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Location: Louisville, Ga


« on: October 14, 2013, 10:00:00 AM »

I have a couple questions here.  I am just a newbie so pardon the ignorance. I was going to harvest off of 3 hives Saturday and got surprised.  I hit them with smoke at the first.  These came from a package this spring and have been on cotton this fall, they have done fairly well.  They have 3 10 frame deep boxes with the top one about half full of honey and brood.  For some reason they have not been filling the bottom box up.  I was going to pull the frames out that had only capped honey on, put them in another box to the side with an escape in the bottom and move the ones with brood and honey down into the bottom box for the winter.  They got very upset, I usually do not use protective clothing but finally decided to go put it on. I got 5 frames of honey out and finally quit.  I really would like to get them down to 2 hive bodies for the winter which will mean taking it all apart to move the brood from the 3rd box down and pulling some empty frames out of the bottom box.  Do I just need to carry on despite the fact that they are so upset or does that mess them up?  Am I going at it all the wrong way?  I have searched the forum for a topic on this but couldn't find one.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2013, 12:29:47 PM »

We need a lot more information to figure this one out:
What was the weather like?
What method did you use to move the bees off of the frames?
What time of day was it?
Was there a flow of any sort on?

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kenthold
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« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2013, 12:38:50 PM »

Weather:  It was sunshine, mid 80's with a little breeze.
Method:  The third box had about half of the frames with brood so was just moving frames with capped honey to a seperate box with Bee Escape board underneath. This is the way I understood Bush to recommend.
Time:  It was about 2 p.m.
Flow:  They are by a cotton field that is tapering off.  There is a lot of goldenrod blooming around right now.

As I was saying I was hoping to bring this hive down to 2 hive bodies for the winter but they were so crazy I quit.  I'm not afraid to keep going just not sure how much I should push it.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2013, 04:30:50 PM »

I was looking for something that could get them riled up but none there. I have done the same thing, just closed them up and the next day they were back to normal.
Jim
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Moots
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Location: Gonzales LA (Southeastern Louisiana)


« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2013, 04:52:46 PM »

kenthold,
DISCLAIMER:  I'm a first year newbie myself, headed into my first winter....So, I have no experience what-so-ever.  I'm planning on trying to take a little fall honey and reduce my hive sizes to get ready for winter sometime in the next couple of weeks.

However, I'm guessing that it could be that maybe it's a reduced flow, or just the fact that the girls know winter is coming and are being a little more protective than usual of their honey stores.  I'd say suit up and get done what you need to get done.

Good luck!  Smiley
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T Beek
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 06:17:25 PM »

Cold temps and some Beek messing with their honey can make a nice hive mean grin.  We leave all goldenrod honey for the bees to overwinter, basically we stop taking any honey sometime in August, not liking to feed unless really needed and not really knowing how the flow will turn out.

It is very true.  Not all blooms and flows are equal, goldenrod can be funny some years producing very little nectar and fooling unaware beekeepers.  

Just because a flower blooms does not always mean honeybees can use it or that nectar is available from the flower.
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kenthold
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 07:03:42 PM »

So am I headed the right direction with taking the frames with brood and honey out of the 3rd deep and putting them in place of the empty frames in the bottom box?
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tjc1
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 08:42:21 PM »

Up north here at this point in the year I would be worried about messing up the brood nest and the cluster, getting brood spaced too far apart for the bees to cover without breaking the cluster and forcing it to spread all over the hive, or to have to abandon some of the brood. Maybe in GA at this time of year that is not as much of a concern.
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