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Author Topic: Brood and the honey supers  (Read 3557 times)
tillie
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« on: June 20, 2006, 07:44:58 AM »

My hives have a deep and a medium as the first two boxes.  I then have two shallow honey supers above them. On one of my hives in the first honey super (the one closest to the medium) there is brood on the lower third of most of the frames of honey.

I didn't use a queen excluder because I like Michael Bush's approach that the bees will decide the amount of space they need for brood.  

I'm using crush and strain and cut comb methods to get the honey when I finally do.  The brood cells look mostly like drone cells.  

Can I still use those frames of honey and just cut above the brood cells?
Or should I plan to leave those frames of honey with brood at the bottom for the bees?  How does one make that decision?

Linda T in Atlanta and always grateful for this helpful forum
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2006, 11:00:25 PM »

A slatted rack between the brood chambers and the supers will usually work for keeping the queen down--she doesn't like to cross the open area of the rack.  
And you should now have a better appreciation of why people like MB and I have gone to all one size of box.  Moving the frame(s) of brood from a super back into the brood chamber is not a problem when every box is the same size.

The problem of the brood in the super should correct itself over the course of the summer.  Especially if you move this box up further into the hive as more supers are added.  A super of foundation works just as well or better than a slatted rack.
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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2006, 11:36:52 PM »

Quote from: tillie
I'm using crush and strain and cut comb methods to get the honey when I finally do.


You loose 50% of your yield with that style.
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tillie
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2006, 11:43:38 PM »

Finsky,
I'm sure you're right about how much I may lose, but with only two hives this year, starting them up in the middle of April and missing most of the Georgia honey flow, I'll be lucky to get any honey!  cheesy

Not worth it to me to find/purchase/borrow an extractor for this year.

I tasted some of the honey from the super with the brood in the frame and it tasted great - darker than the honey in the other super but I liked the flavor.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2006, 11:57:54 PM »

Tillie,
My wife and I reciently did a removal in an old house (http://www.beemaster.com/beebbs/viewtopic.php?t=5529) and ended up with one 5 gallon bucket full of honeycomb and another half full. We did the crush and strain method and only ended up with one gallon of honey. There has to be some good methods of doing this but the method of trying to push it through hardware cloth didn't work. i ended up doing most of it by hand and knife. It was a lot of work but the rewards were sweet!

PS.... Do this far from bees and only in a place that you don't mind it getting sticky. We were very careful but i still managed to track honey everywhere!
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2006, 12:03:16 AM »

Brian,

I'm going on vacation for the week of July 4th and plan to add a super to each hive just in case before I go

This, BTW, is extremely optimistic since we haven't had rain for three weeks in Atlanta and I don't think my bees are making much honey.  

When I do, I think you are saying that I should put the new super between the brood boxes and the super that has both brood and honey in it....that should discourage the queen from laying more in the honey super?  

Linda T still somewhat confused..... huh
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Finsky
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2006, 01:38:38 AM »

Quote from: tillie


Not worth it to me to find/purchase/borrow an extractor for this year.


If you bye this year extractor, you save combs.  You will have lack of combs next year. Every box you crush you need 4 lbs wax =30 lbs honey.

30 x 2 $ = 60 $

You loose quite quickly the price of extractor. But if it does not matter so what does?
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2006, 05:50:58 AM »

Quote from: Brian D. Bray
A slatted rack between the brood chambers and the supers will usually work for keeping the queen down


Shall I just throw away ALL my bee books, magazines, drop the short courses, follow MB's techniques and consider him my mentor HuhHuhHuh
This is the first time I've read anywhere about this use of a slatted rack, and quite frankly, sounds like a great idea to me. I am using SBBs, so I did not utilize the SR. I am not a fan of the queen/honey excluder, but I do have them on hand just in case.  Cheesy
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2006, 06:30:33 AM »

I use 3 brood deep. Queen stays nicely there without fences. Perhaps in late summer I use excluder.  Brood mixing with honye is ploblem at all.

I know that professionals use excluder but that I do not understand that hobbiest use it even if he does not take honey away  Tongue
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JKJ
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2006, 08:32:05 AM »

Quote from: Finsky
Quote from: tillie
I'm using crush and strain and cut comb methods to get the honey when I finally do.

You loose 50% of your yield with that style.


Crush and strain:
I'm new to beekeeping this year with just two hives producing honey and I do not have an extractor.  I pulled 27 shallow frames from one hive a couple of days ago and used the crush and strain method.  

I cut the comb from the frame, crushed in a bowl, then poured into a nylon filter bag made for straining paint into a 5-gallon bucket.  I stopped when the level in the bucket was a little over half way.  I suspended each filter bag over a bucket with a rope on a pulley fastened to the ceiling, covered with a plastic tent,  and let things drain for two days. I think I got about 7 gallons of honey (26 liters?).

This method worked well for me, since most of the people who told me they want to buy honey want jars with comb.  I put 1.5"x4" sections of cut comb into pint jars and filled to the top with honey.

This was pretty easy to do.  Since I got bees primarily to pollenate the garden and fruit trees on my farm and have no desire to get into the commercial honey business, perhaps I will do this again next year.  That one hive made far more honey than I can use (and there is still more), so I'm not sure I care if I lost 50% of the yield.  Since I did not have drawn comb, the bees made that much honey this year starting from foundation.  I still have two full supers on that hive and some on the second hive.

JKJ
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John K Jordan in East TN
Finsky
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2006, 10:06:41 AM »

Quote from: JKJ
about 7 gallons of honey (26 liters?).


Coeficient is 1,4 and 26 liters is about 36 kg or 70 lbs.

Is it 70 or 140, and no difference  Tongue
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tillie
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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2006, 10:56:19 AM »

I realize this topic has moved to the interesting question of the value of extracting via crush and strain vs. extractor, but I still would like some thoughts from the forum on one of my original questions.

I understand that I can hopefully manage the brood in the honey super by putting in a new super between that one and the brood box, but let's say I get to the end of the summer and pull off frames from a honey super that has some brood in it.

Can I cut the honey cells out of the frame above the brood cells in that frame and still use that honey?

Linda T  wink
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2006, 11:42:28 AM »

Quote from: tillie

Can I cut the honey cells out of the frame above the brood cells in that frame and still use that honey?


Yes you can. If you leave it late enough there might not be any brood in these supers.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2006, 09:16:22 PM »

Tillie,

The answer to your question is yes.  Putting the new super between the brood chamber and the super with brood will break the brood area enough that the queen won't lay in the new super until there is enough comb being drawn and in the mean time the eggs in  the super that has been moved up in the hive will hatch and the area filled in with nector (honey).  
I use 4 mediums for the brood chamber and then pile on as many as 5 or 6 supers during a good summer. (6x35lbs honey=210 lbs off one hive).  This is what Finsky means when he talks about strong brood boxes and big hives.  Bigger hives means bigger honey harvest.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2006, 10:16:31 PM »

If you split a brood chamber by too much the bees often will rear a queen in the section that doesn't have one.
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tillie
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« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2006, 11:13:49 PM »

The super with the brood is a shallow and has drone cells in the lower 1/5 of four frames.  Most of the frames are filled with honey and those four are mostly honey - just a little brood in the corners.  

I put that super above an empty one today - empty meaning that the frames haven't been drawn out very much and don't have much honey in them.

So I have a deep at the bottom full of brood, a medium above that full of brood, the empty super above that and the super with honey and a little brood above that.

Hope they don't raise a new queen, but I don't think I've split it too much.

Linda T where it is RAINING in Atlanta - Hooray.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #16 on: June 25, 2006, 03:45:26 PM »

With the new super as the only compartment separating the shallow super with brood from the other supers you should be okay.  The drone cells should hatch and be filled with honey, although I believe from your later discription that the "problem" would have righted itself as drone comb is different from brood comb in the sense that drone population is transient whereas worker production is ongoinging only fluctuating with the need level of the season.
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