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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denton, TX, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default When to harvest?

    So, this is my second year with bees, really my first full season as I put these ladies in late last summer and didn't harvest at all.

    Any other Texas beeks have recommendations on times to harvest? I've heard about a mid summer dearth and strong fall flows? So I should harvest mid fall? I'm itching to try some honey finally after having them for over a year.

    Dave

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Default

    if you have a bar with no brood and it's mostly capped i say take it. tbh's are great for havesting less more often.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default

    I have the same question Dave. I put mine in April. And at last weekend's inspection they seem to be storing honey in good numbers. Not a full bar yet but probably 3/4 of a bar on 2 bars. And about 1/2-3/4 is capped. So I plan on checking this weekend or next and seeing what they have done. If I have a full capped bar I might take it. I am covered up in mesquite trees. At least 2000 acers + around me. I think my flow is going good.

    How did you over winter your bees last year. Did you have to feed at all. Or is our winter warm enough where they still work and find food.

    Also, Since they have been in there since last summer how many bars to you have drawn out.

    Since your 50 miles from me and have a good head start I wanted to pick your brain alittle.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default

    Anytime it's mostly capped honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denton, TX, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek1 View Post
    I have the same question Dave. I put mine in April. And at last weekend's inspection they seem to be storing honey in good numbers. Not a full bar yet but probably 3/4 of a bar on 2 bars. And about 1/2-3/4 is capped. So I plan on checking this weekend or next and seeing what they have done. If I have a full capped bar I might take it. I am covered up in mesquite trees. At least 2000 acers + around me. I think my flow is going good.
    I'm in urban Fort Worth, so I imagine we're at the mercy of landscaped yards, so probably won't see many large flows - I assume a more steady flow?

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek1 View Post
    How did you over winter your bees last year. Did you have to feed at all. Or is our winter warm enough where they still work and find food.

    Also, Since they have been in there since last summer how many bars to you have drawn out.
    I closed up my extra (ventilation) entrance, and that's about it. No feeding was necessary, and they had maybe 10 - 12 bars drawn out. We even had that freak 8 inch snowfall (my bees were in denton) which they made it through fine. They did fly on some of the warmer days. I'm fairly confident that yours will be fine with minimum work on your part. Just be sure to leave them enough honey. They have filled 3/4 of a 4 foot hive thus far.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveWilliamsTX View Post
    I'm in urban Fort Worth...
    Dave, you never told me where you were after I replied to your PM some time back. I'm still curious where (generally) you have your hive(s). Are you actually downtown (urban)?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default

    [QUOTE=DaveWilliamsTX;324797] Just be sure to leave them enough honey. /QUOTE]

    One of mine has a little less than 1/2 of a 4' drawn out. I started it in late April. The other has a 1/4 +/- just started a few weeks ago. What would you say is enough honey. 3 bars? I'm may only take 1 to 2 bars this year. Just to practice extracting it. And then next year get after it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default

    You're in Texas. Worst case you can probably feed all winter. Here, if they don't have enough, they starve. They can't take syrup in the winter here.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denton, TX, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Hall View Post
    Dave, you never told me where you were after I replied to your PM some time back. I'm still curious where (generally) you have your hive(s). Are you actually downtown (urban)?
    Apologies, Tim. I'm a half mile south of 30, and a mile west of 35, so not downtown, and within pillaging range of the botanic gardens : )

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveWilliamsTX View Post
    Apologies, Tim. I'm a half mile south of 30, and a mile west of 35, so not downtown, and within pillaging range of the botanic gardens : )
    No worries...bees keep your mind occupied. Sounds like that puts you somewhere just east of the Colonial...probably a good area. You should also have the Zoo and a good section of the Trinity River in your forage zone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denton, TX, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek1 View Post
    One of mine has a little less than 1/2 of a 4' drawn out. I started it in late April. The other has a 1/4 +/- just started a few weeks ago. What would you say is enough honey. 3 bars? I'm may only take 1 to 2 bars this year. Just to practice extracting it. And then next year get after it.
    That's a hard one for me to tell you, I only harvested a comb that was built funny, and left the rest to them (it was mostly stored syrup anyway). I started in mid August, so I think they really didn't have the time to get large stores built up. But they made it fine on whatever they had tucked away in the brood comb. It was a fairly small colony at the time, though.

    When I checked after I posted yesterday, I only have about 4 bars that are empty! I might have to build a TBH super.....

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    For most of us in north Texas, the spring flow is over with this heat. I'll likely pull honey this weekend (Lang hives). If you are fortunate enough to have an area with blooming mesquite, you can get a summer flow off of that. The fall flow is always dependent on rain, but should happen this year with decent ground moisture. It will start in mid September on asters and golden rod. Sometimes it goes until Thanksgiving depending on freezes.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Denton, TX, USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    I am noticing bees on soap berry in our neighborhood right now, and they seem to be busy as ever...maybe all the landscaped yards.....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default

    At my Fort Worth beeyard they are all over the privet...unfortunately I've been told this may not taste so good. I suppose I can feed it to my other colonies.

    At one of my other yards the mesquite (the predominant nectar source) has just come into full bloom. I'm not sure if this is it's first or second bloom this year since my colonies there got a much later-than-anticipated start. If I'm lucky I'll get at least one more round of blooms out of them late in the season before the broomweed kicks in.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default

    Went out Sunday and hoped to get a bar or two of honey. Came home with nothing. They are storing very good. But the one bar I wanted to get was only about 70% capped. I added a brood bar 4 bars back and 2 honey bars at the back. I am going to give them two weeks and check again.

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