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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Post

    Hi,

    This is my first TBH with 28 bars. I installed a package on 4/22. They are building up pretty fast and have 14 frames built out. I went through the whole hive for the first time today, and 12 or so of the frames have a strip of honey across the top 1/5th - 1/4 of the comb with the rest being eggs/larva/brood/ and a little bit of pollen. I even snapped some pictures of my very productive queen. It's pretty exciting to see how well they have built up compared to my Langstroth.

    I'm wondering what to look for to know that I can take a frame of two of honey. Obviously now, it's mostly brood, but will I be able to take some honey this year? I read through the posts on "harvest" and some said to take no honey the first year. Others said to take from the last 2-3 frames.

    So, with a new package, could you give me some harvesting advice?

    When to take (how many bars need to be built to safely take honey)?
    Which bars to take?
    How many to take at a time?
    How often to go between harvesting a few comb?

    The hive is in Ypsilanti, Michigan with relatively cold winters, so I want to leave them plenty of honey. We have lots of white clover on right now. It's also in my backyard, so I can go out and take one comb once a week if that is the best route.

    Thank you!

    Misty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I'd be shooting for ending up in the fall with pretty much a full hive, minus, perhaps a few bars. So I would take them gradually over time and try not to fall too low. They will quite suddenly stop drawing comb in the fall and you don't want that to happen when you're too low on honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    In michigan I would even go so far as to leave all the honey the 1st year. Michigan winters are REALLY severe. The 2nd year you will at least know what you left on for the 1st winter and what was left afterwards.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    Posts
    38

    Post

    Thanks for the tips -- I'll watch and see how much they build this summer and fall and make sure to leave them plenty if not all of it for the winter.

    Scot - Since you brought up the winters, do you think adding insulation to a TBH is neccessary or advised for Michigan winters? I currently have a wooden cover with a thin reflective metal sheet attached to the top surface.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    If the colony is well built I wouldn't bother. Some poeple swear by it, other people swear against it.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    I overintered mine without, they did fine. I put some on top the last two winters and they also did fine. I think there's less condensation on the top with a sheet of styrofoam on top. That's all I did was a piece on top. The ants sure loved the tops. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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