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Author Topic: What do to with old capped honey frames?  (Read 4954 times)
EOHenry
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« on: February 28, 2006, 08:14:31 PM »

As I posted earlier this winter, I lost 2 of my hives.  I have ordered 2 packages to replace them.  There is still a lot of honey left in the supers.  Can I extract the honey after the weather warms up or I bring them inside to warm up.  Will the honey have crystalized in my Michigan winter cold? Or just leave the full supers for my new colonies to consume? I still have to go out and clean out the dead bees from the hives when it gets alot more above freezing. Sad  
Thanx for any thots!

Henry
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2006, 11:16:27 PM »

I'd save the combs for your next hive.  It will give them a nice start to have some honey and some combs.
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Michael Bush
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Andrew Tyzack
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2006, 11:38:48 PM »

I too lost a hive - but there's plenty of honey/syrup in the brood combs. Isn't it taking a chance that you may pass on whatever killed the bees?

After considering everybody's opinion, I like to think that my bees died from the effects of varroa. But that doesn't mean they didn't die from something contagious. Although very tempted to keep the honey to feed bees, I was planning to destroy it along with the combs and thouroughly disinfect with my blow torch.

Andrew
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2006, 07:04:52 AM »

>I too lost a hive - but there's plenty of honey/syrup in the brood combs. Isn't it taking a chance that you may pass on whatever killed the bees?

The only contagious thing I'd worry about at ALL is AFB.  Mites are the likely culprit and they will all be dead already.

>After considering everybody's opinion, I like to think that my bees died from the effects of varroa. But that doesn't mean they didn't die from something contagious.

AFB doesn't kill bees, it kills brood, which, in the end, kills the hive.

> Although very tempted to keep the honey to feed bees, I was planning to destroy it along with the combs and thouroughly disinfect with my blow torch.

What eveidence do you have that it was AFB?  If you really don't feel compenent to diagnose and are afraid of AFB, you can send a piece of comb in (look for some old brood) to Beltsville for FREE and they will tell you if there is any AFB.  Send some of the bees as well and they will try to diagnose it:

http://www.ba.ars.usda.gov/psi/brl/directs.htm

It's just a waste to destroy perfectly good comb.
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Michael Bush
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Andrew Tyzack
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2006, 08:33:29 AM »

Here's the link to the post with photo's of my dead bees. I don't think that it's a brood disease. So I'll certainly use the honey for feeding.

Its a bit mouldy - does that pose a problem?

http://beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=4311

Thanks,

Andrew
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Finsky
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2006, 12:36:24 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Tyzack
So I'll certainly use the honey for feeding.

Its a bit mouldy - does that pose a problem?

http://beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=4311


I use to throw that like to fire. Bees become sick when they get that much mold and cells are ruined. That honey in combs are not value of sugar.

There is no use to play with little money. Those frames are  however a risk for new hive.

I reuse wooden frame if it is good. I cut them off from combs.

One way is to dig combs into compost or garden soil. Earthwoms like them.
.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2006, 09:30:56 PM »

I've never seen a problem with a little mold on them.  The bees clean them up pretty quickly.
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Michael Bush
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Finsky
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2006, 09:53:16 PM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
I've never seen a problem with a little mold on them.  The bees clean them up pretty quickly.


If you think that way. So it happens in nature. No one is in nature to help bees but beekeper may help them.

If you give moldy frame to bees they shall first bite comb down. So you have there only old foundation. Then bees build new combs.

It is easier if I give them new foundations and bees save that dirty part of job.

When you look cell wax it is ruined. It's wax have turned grey. They bite it off.

Last winter my water cover has gone in wind and bees had moist innercover in their hive. The inner side of cover was in blue mold. I thought that they stand it. But when I looked their brood hive was clearly sick. I changed boxes and inner cover and brood turned normal.

I have gived many times moldy and fermented frames to bees and I have seen what it makes. It makes them sick.  

Frames are not so valuable that I should play game with them. I try to take big yields but I do not play with buttons.
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2006, 11:24:28 AM »

I finally opened up my hive that I suspected dead and it was.  It had a lot of honey left.  It has one complete medium super of nice capped honey - I just placed it on top of my other hive which is still buzzing and alive.  But the brood boxes from the dead hive had about 4 frames of untouched capped honey - which I took in two and plan to use for personal use.  I plan to use the rest of the hives remains for a new package - however there are frames with a lot of dead bees inside the cells - will the new bees clean them out?  also I noticed a lot of the uncapped honey has white spots inside the cells, I suspect it is crystalized honey, but is it possible it is mold?  it is pure white.  Should I have just taken the medium super of honey for myself instead of putting it on top of the hive that is alive, will this help them for raising brood?  other then that the dead hive left me with 2 full deep supers of comb w/ honey/pollen, and the one full medium super of capped honey.
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Jana
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2006, 12:20:05 PM »

Hi,
I'm in a similar situation - my colony recently died in a cold snap (though I suspect mites were an issue too) and I'm left with some frames with honey that I don't know if I should save for the replacement bees I'm planning to get later this spring. There was moisture in the hive, so the honey is likely watery, most is uncapped, and to top it off there is some mold. It's been cool here so my hope is that it's not fermented and useless (is there any way to tell?). I'm thinking about just sticking them in the freezer, but will listen to your suggestions! Thanks all!
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Finsky
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2006, 01:37:04 PM »

Mostly frames are good after bees have died. You should consider yourself if  combs are good enough to use. If there is uncapped fermented honey it can be washed away with water host. Then you shake combs. empty and let them dry in open air.
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Andrew Tyzack
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« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2006, 03:50:05 PM »

Finsky,

How do you tell if the honey is fermented or not?

Andrew
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2006, 03:50:42 PM »

So is it ok to leave all this outside until spring... or should I clean off and bring in?  I am wondering with spring soon here and before I re-package hive, will other bees rob?   or anything else get at it?.. or will it be ok.
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Finsky
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« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2006, 04:46:30 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Tyzack
Finsky,

How do you tell if the honey is fermented or not?


It swells from combs and it has bubbles. When you shake it it splashes away. Fermentation is automatic when honey gets moisture.
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atthelake22
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2006, 04:35:57 PM »

cheesy I am still quite a novice at this and as some of you know trying to pick up running the apiary that my father left for me at his passing.  I have a question on the already spun frames...I know i don't have to worry about that just yet but trying to keep a log/journal and how to book based on what he had and did.  I know that after spinning the frames he would take the empty comb (on frame) outside and allow the bees to clean them out (I believe that is how he put it) and I was wondering if this was a common practice and if so how long do i leave them outside for. We have an area of 45 acres so there is plenty of room to put them far enough away from the hives to not cause a problem there, BUT i don't know how long to leave them out. We have skunks and other creatures of the night (and day) that love to come around our farm so wondering if anyone can help me out on this one.  Thanks so much.  Love this site, everyone is so helpful....
Patty
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Jay
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2006, 06:42:18 PM »

Patty,
Put the frames back inside the supers, and then put them back on the hives you robbed them from. Make sure everything is tight ie. cover on properly and no gaps or cracks between the supers (for robbing) and the bees will get their honey back (the small amount you missed). It won't take them very long to move the leftovers back down into the hive, maybe a day. Cheesy
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bassman1977
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« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2006, 09:23:14 PM »

Isn't old honey bad for bees?  At what point is it considered "old" and hazardous for them?
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Finsky
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« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2006, 12:16:55 AM »

Quote from: bassman1977
Isn't old honey bad for bees?  At what point is it considered "old" and hazardous for them?


It cannot be seen with human eye. You understand the meaning "spoiled food" or "contaminated food". Bees seems to stand everything but they don't.

Second poin is that "spoiled food" become "human foodstuff". It gives taste and aroma to bigger amount of honey.

I had old honey jar in my cottage room. I had 20 bees and queen in the gage. I gived old honey to them and next morning all were dead. I repeated it and same happened.  I do not why?

There is some limit what you may give to bees. It is just up to you.

I know that you have laughed to my greediness but I have my limits too. During years I have seen that feeding bees with old partly spoiled combs is not wise at all. It is better then give pure sugar if you need to get more honey.
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atthelake22
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« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2006, 03:58:45 AM »

Jay that really helped and makes total sense. Thank you and will do! I appreciate the assistance.  Wasn't sure if he put them back on the super or if he set them out at a remote location and allowed them to come to it. Thanks so much! patty Cheesy
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