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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Post

    I was reading and reading over the posts made about the super hive recently. In it, the keeper mentioned that he HAD a big crop going into the derth period there. He lamented that he didn't extract then. Later, when he was able to, he only had half that crop remaining. That perplexed me.
    Was he suggesting that if you don't remove the crop before the derth, the bees will use it? If it is removed, then what do they do, shut down brood rearing until after the derth? This is a new concept to me, so please explain what I'm missing here.

    thanks
    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    I know they'll use it, because it happened to me. I guess if they don't have it and you don't feed, they just cut down and deal. That could be bad, so I would recommend feeding.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Post

    Yep...better to take it when its ready.....much cheaper to feed hfcs that let them et the honey! Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    984

    Post

    oops ... eat the honey!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Post

    Yeah, that was me - I plan on extracting by June 15 this year.

    Last time I was in Germany I visited an old timer beekeeper who goes through his hives every week during the main honey flow to remove any capped frames for extraction. He replaces these with the empties (still wet) from the previous week. He had a special covered plastic box that he used for collecting the frames - he would pull a frame, shake and brush off the bees, put it in the box - made it look easy. Other advantages: no weight problems, minimal supering equipment. Disadvantage: probably more work. His "honey house" was very neat, clean, no bugs, etc., with honey still in the extractor.
    Triangle Bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > the keeper mentioned that he HAD a big crop going
    > into the derth period there. He lamented that he
    > didn't extract then. Later, when he was able to,
    > he only had half that crop remaining.

    Bees have to eat, and not all queens will stop
    laying when fresh nectar stops coming in, so
    the bees ate the crop, and perhaps used more
    than might otherwise be used raising more brood.

    > That perplexed me.

    Don't be perplexed, be prepared. Harvest early.
    If there is a known dearth period in your area,
    get those supers off, and (if you want to maximize
    your crop) feed during the dearth.

    > Was he suggesting that if you don't remove the
    > crop before the derth, the bees will use it?

    More than suggesting, he was stating a fact.

    > If it is removed, then what do they do, shut
    > down brood rearing until after the derth?

    Only if you get a breed of bee bred to do
    exactly that (and there are a wide range of
    opinions on which breeds of bees express
    this very basic trait best, so I won't start
    an argument by naming any specific breeds
    or producers).

    >> goes through his hives every week during the
    >> main honey flow to remove any capped frames

    Wow, what did this guy have? Like 10 hives or
    something? And no job, no family, no friends?
    Sounds to me like a absolute waste of time.
    Around here, we pulls supers, extract, and get
    the supers back on the hives, our goal being
    before sundown on the same day. When it is time
    to pull honey and extract, my wife calls it
    "An Extractor Screams At Midnight", and she is
    right - sometimes the belt drives will squeal a
    bit. But I don't mind extracting the day's
    takings until 2am - the teenagers have learned
    to show up at first light to put them back on
    when it is still cool, before the bees "wake up",
    so I can always sleep late.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
    Posts
    923

    Post

    Slightly different method...

    I use mediums and when the first is about 2/3 full I put another above it. When that is 2/3 full the first is full and capped 99% of the time, and it gets pulled, the one on top dropped, and another empty placed on top. I work all the hives in a couple of days, then spend a day extracting. It is about a 10 day to 2 week cycle here. I keep 4-5 hives at my house and use them as an indicator for when to go harvest the rest so I don't go running all over N GA, only to find I'm a few days early.

    BubbaBob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    As far as removal goes, you can read the
    section on "Quality Honey" here:
    http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/apis93/apmay93.htm
    and learn quite a bit.

    Note that they spoke of "5 supers" and "12 supers"
    per hive in he study above. Yep, that's a big
    stack o' supers, and there is a good reason why
    it is done. (While they said that "the number
    of supers had little impact on production",
    they were talking about a minimum of 5 supers, not
    the difference you can see when you add 4 or 5 at
    a time, rather that one or two at a time.)

    Note that they also spoke about "new queens".
    Lloyd Spear will say that a spring queen is
    better than an overwintered queen for production,
    and I say that a fall queen is much cheaper, and
    just as good. Regardless, requeening is a
    very very good idea. Given the current problems
    with drone fecundity, trying to get 2 years out
    of a queen is risking hundreds of dollars worth
    of honey versus a $15 (at most) investment.

    > I use mediums and when the first is about 2/3
    > full I put another above it. When that is 2/3
    > full the first is full and capped 99% of the
    > time, and it gets pulled, the one on top
    > dropped, and another empty placed on top.

    This spring, just take every super of drawn
    comb you have, and put them ALL on your hives
    as early as possible. You should see what
    most people see - a bigger crop in the same time.

    So, if you take two hives of equal strength, with
    equivalent queens, and compare the two methods
    side by side, you should notice a significant
    difference in the amount of harvestable honey.

    To quote "The Hive And The Honey Bee (1992 ed)
    " Researchers for the USDA conducted some very
    practical research in which they demonstrated that
    the "honey hoarding" instinct of the bees was
    actually increased if the amount of storage space
    (drawn comb) was increased. A colony with two or
    three supers of drawn comb will store more honey
    than a colony with one super of drawn comb during
    the same period of time, assuming the colonies are
    of equal size."

    It is said that bees with a larger amount of empty
    drawn comb will be more motivated by the
    pheromones exuded by the comb to work harder.

    My view is (no surprise), more "mechanical" than
    that. Bees need comb space to spread out the
    nectar between the cells and evaporate the water
    off. If you think about maximizing the exposed
    surface area for a given volume of nectar, you
    end up with tiny amounts of nectar in each
    cell, maybe a 10:1 ratio between the number of
    cells used in evaporating and final cells of
    honey.

    So, the bees need:

    a) A big area of empty cells for "evaporation"

    b) Enough additional empty cells to store and
    cap off finished honey.

    c) Enough additional empty cells to provide
    space for resting bees.

    And you also want to get all that drawn comb
    on the hives as early as possible. Why?
    The early spring flows are the source of the
    bulk of the nectar your bees will bring in
    during the year. (This is because there are
    few pollinators active in early spring, and
    plants that bloom during this period have
    lots of competition from other plants, and
    have evolved over the millenia to produce
    more nectar to attract the few pollinators
    around.) Later in the season, there are
    many more pollinators active, so plants do
    not have to provide as much of a "lure" to
    get a pollinator to visit.

    So, you can never have too much drawn comb,
    and you can never get it all on your hives
    too early after the bees start flying.

    Most of us have at least a few weeks before our
    first serious nectar flow. Time to go get all
    those supers ready!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Jim Fischer do you use entrances above the honey supers if so do you worry about the pollen stored with the honey.


    Thanks
    Terry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > Jim Fischer do you use entrances above the honey supers

    Sure.

    > if so do you worry about the pollen stored with
    > the honey.

    Nope - while a cell of pollen is a tragic sight
    in the middle of a frame of comb or a round that
    one sees in a show, I don't play games with my
    honey. I sell honey. Some people even request
    combs with a little pollen in them, so we
    segregate when we package the rounds, and make
    sure that the pollen cell(s) are covered by the
    clear cover, rather than the opaque cover.

    It is rare to see pollen in a round, but it
    can and will happen. No big deal, pollen
    tastes good, too. Lots of people buy pollen
    as a stand-alone item.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Langley, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    413

    Post

    Thanks. Jim Fischer -
    Terry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Thanks, guys. Being a basically new beekeeper (2 years), I had forgotten that all the supers with drawn comb should be placed on the hive at once for honey collection. Since I was working with foundation the past two years, I was putting supers on one at a time as they were filled. This is the first year I have lots of drawn comb. Since my girls don't have to draw the cells out, I should get even more honey this year, right?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,908

    Post

    During our honey flow, which usually last for 2 solid months and a bit depending on the late flows, I will pull my honey at least three times.
    First, about three or four weeks after my initial supering of three or so supers, then my next two or three pulls are within two weeks of putting the wets back on, which is only two supers, mabey three on a strong hive.
    Granulation of canola honey can be a big concern here, some years more than others. So I dont put an excess of super storage on my hives, for I like to have them quickly fill them so I can quickly emty them.
    Lots of comb storage space is a big factor in honey collection, but more supers doesnt mean more honey. If you can continually pull honey and replace the full boxes with empty comb, it stimulates the bees just the same as haveing 8 boxes on. Actually I would argue it would stimulate more honey collected, during a flow of course,...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Winnipeg Manitoba
    Posts
    311

    Post

    I'd agree with Ian. Up here, and especially last summer, granulation was a huge factor. I was using the German method that was described by
    db land. Take out the capped, brush off the bees, replace the frame with a wet one.

    One commercial beekeeper up here lost 300 full supers to granulation last fall. I guess he wont be worried about feed this year.


    J.R.

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