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  1. #1

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    I have two new hives this year and I thought I'd simply put a third brooder sized super each of them. My intention was not to take any honey this year.

    However, one hive has 5-7 frames in this top super filled but only partially capped. The bottom supers are also full and each hive has about 60 pounds of honey in the bottom two supers.

    So here is the question: as I prepare to winterize these hives, what do I do with the third super? Should I leave it on over the winter and allow the bees to get the honey out? Should I take the honey even though it is not capped? Should I toss the honey out or save it and feed it back to the bees in some other fashion?

    Thanks,

    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,889

    Post

    >...put a third brooder sized super each of them.

    A 9 5/8" deep super? And you have 9 5/8" deeps for brood?

    >However, one hive has 5-7 frames in this top super filled but only partially capped.

    For stores, capped or not capped doesnt matter much.

    >The bottom supers are also full and each hive has about 60 pounds of honey in the bottom two supers.

    60 pounds TOTAL in the bottom two? Are they deeps? Two deeps full of honey weigh between 150 and 180 pounds. If they only weigh 60 then they aren't even half full.

    >what do I do with the third super? Should I leave it on over the winter and allow the bees to get the honey out?

    If it's mostly full, that works fine.

    >Should I take the honey even though it is not capped?

    I suppose if you have a refractometer you could see how dry it is and extract it if it's dry enough. I don't have a refractometer so I generally don't take it unless it's capped.

    >Should I toss the honey out

    Never.

    >or save it and feed it back to the bees in some other fashion?

    You can feed it if you like. You can just take it off and put ot out somewhere and the bees will rob it out.

    Personally I'd probably just leave it on.

    I don't know what your winters are like (you don't have your location posted so I don't even have a guess). Around here I try to have 150 pounds or more of honey for a strong hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Blimey, I aim at 40lb, and the bees manage on 30. Shows what a difference location makes, and probably the strain of bee as well.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    Since you only have two hives, take the partially filled super and set it about 100 feet from the hives. Let them clean it out and they will pack it away back down in the brood chamber. This will allow the bees to not over-extend thier ability to defend comb against wax moths, you will have good comb in the spring, and they will not work up throughout the winter into a partially filled super. In the spring the queen will not be laying in your honey super also.

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