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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    1,297

    Default Emptying uncapped supers

    I did not have the late summer soybean flow I was anticipating. After harvesting in early July I put all of the supers back on. They filled about 1/2 of them enough for harvesting. I'd like to get them to clean out the uncapped supers and fill the deeps with honey and pollen for the upcoming winter.

    I know I can simply pull the supers off and let the hives rob them out but end up with torn open comb, agitated hives, dead bees and supers exposed to raccons and other varmits if they don't empty them within one day. I tried putting them above an inner cover a couple of years ago and they did nothing. Is there a way I can get them to clean out their own supers? Do I need to put an empty hive body between the supers and the deeps with an inner cover just above?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    In your area I would wait on pulling the supers. Give them up to the end of september or until we get our first frost. you might be suprised they may go ahead and fill them. If they dont by the end of september put it over the inner cover. They will move it down especially during a dearth if they have room down below for the honey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    Default

    I pulled the supers last year at this time, harvested and put them back expecting some goldenrod or something else (this is only my 3rd year so I'm still learning). Nothing was put up short of pollen though the Goldenrod was blooming like gangbusters. The bees are acting identical to last year with very little activity.

    Do you normally get anything of volume at this time, if so where did it come from?
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Oxford, Kansas
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    Do you normally get anything of volume at this time, if so where did it come from?
    I wont pull until mid to late sept. maybe later. I get a good flow off beans, Cotton, commercial sunflowers, and wildflowers and if the weathers right maybe some alfalfa this time of the year. I will get a flow off the cotton up into october some years. I dont believe you guys have cotton up your way. I have pulled supers on labor day extracted and put on above inner cover only to have them filled again. You might take a look at your hive location. If they arent messing with goldenrod then there is something else better blooming somewhere.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    Default

    Nope, no cotton here. I'm right next to a soybean field (500+ acres) but I've got nothing off of them to speak of this year. Last year it was my heaviest flow. I am sitting on 40 acres of fallow field that's got quite a bit of wildflowers on it. We hadn't had any rain for a few weeks. I pulled the supers that were relatively full yesterday. I left the drawn but mostly empty supers on there so the hives (5) will have a place to put a flow should it appear. Ironically we got over an inch of rain yesterday. After my post this morning when I looked at the girls a couple of hours ago they were the most active I've seen them in 6 weeks. As I drove around the field I saw more 1/2 dollar size yellow flowers and coffee bean size purple flowers than I could shake a stick at. Any ideas of what they might be? I didn't see them working any of them though. I did see them working a bank of the creek getting some flowing water though.

    I'm finding one of the great things about this hobby is it's always a learning experience.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  6. #6

    Default

    I extracted a good bit of uncapped honey last week. I did it separately and after extracting the capped honey.. I checked the moisture content and it was 18.5%. I'm going to feed it back to the bees in the next week or so using an outdoor feeder. Same idea, I think, as you have. I want them to put it elsewhere in the hive. I wanted the supers off before treating for varroa.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,308

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    Is there a way I can get them to clean out their own supers? Do I need to put an empty hive body between the supers and the deeps with an inner cover just above?
    Try closing the escape hole with duct tape...leaving only a 1 bee size opening. I find they will usually rob out the uncapped honey. You might try breaking the cappings on the capped. Also, don't expect them to rob anything during a flow. Of course, you must make sure robbers can't get into the supers.

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