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Thread: wild honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Leavenworth,WA,USA
    Posts
    2

    Default wild honey

    I was very happy to see a wild hive move into a barrel on my place this past spring, and enjoyed watching them work in my garden and trees throughout the seasons. Now I'm interested in getting some of the honey from the hive. Is this a good idea? Should I just leave well enough alone? Where I live, Leavenworth, Washington, USA, it will get down a little below 0 degrees F. in January. Also, I've only ever worked with honey from frames, and I'm not sure how to get the honey out of a wild hive without making a total mess. If I can manage to keep the hive alive for next year I'd like that, and I can set up a super and give them a better home. Where they are now they will most likely get buried under several feet of snow...should I move the barrel to a more protected area?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Cameron, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default

    Jman,
    Its probably too late to take their winter stores. They make that much for a reason, to make it through the winter. You can get prety cold there. There are some folks across the pass from you in the Emerald City on this site. Chef Isaac is one I'd recomend. But I'm sure there are more. How was Octoberfest over there this year????

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    Make a mess is probably right. And to cold to be doing that to them now. Wait for warmer weather after they make more honey in the spring.

    They aren't going to be very manageable as they are and you may be just as well off to leave them alone and enjoy them as they are. Set out a swarm box/trap for spring and keep an eye on them, maybe you can get a new hive started off of them.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,628

    Default wild hive

    I would leave the honey and the barrel where it is.If the barrel is metal it!s going to get awfully cold inside,I would try to insulate it and hive the bees ih the spring.Good luck.Jack

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Leavenworth,WA,USA
    Posts
    2

    Default thanks

    Thanks for the info..pretty much what I suspected. The barrel should be pretty well insulated by several feet of snow as it's under the eaves of my garage where the snow slides off the roof!

    Zane, the Octoberfest here has become a poor excuse for excessive drunken stupidity. I stay clear of the sorry antics of the events in town for the duration.

    I'll attempt to trap the hive in the spring, hopefully they'll make it through the winter.

    Once again, thanks for the advice.

    Jman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    I would find out where their entrance is and keep it clear for them...not move and leave the honey...look to harvest some next year and it will probably have to be crush and strain. Good luck. A barrel full of bees..beats one full of monkeys.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,313

    Default

    To elaborate on what alpha6 said.

    Bee's need air and ventilation, so if you want them to survive the winter, you'll need to provide some ventilation, but not so much that they can't keep warm inside.

    If they get completely buried in snow they'll suffocate.

    It was asked earlier in the thread, but I did not see an answer..... Is the barrel wood or metal?

    If it is metal, I'd fashion some kind of insulation for the top and sides as well. - Again, though be careful not to cut off the air supply. The goal is warmth without condensation or wetness. Air is needed without too much causing it to be windy or too cold. It is a fine line.

    Good luck with your bees, I hope that with your help they'll make it though the winter.
    Troy

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