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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Clifford Township, PA
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    1,932

    Default Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    We had a very dry August and the girls shut down for a spell, only to pick up again in September. Have a couple hives where they pretty much filled a super with the goldenrod and aster but the frames are only about 30 to 60% capped. The three medium brood boxes have ample stores.

    Never left honey on the hives this late but it has been pretty warm here with no frost yet. Think there is hope they will finish curing it? That would be pretty much my honey harvest this year. I used this year to focus on raising bees and not making honey. Still, a few jars would be nice.

    Wayne
    Last edited by waynesgarden; 10-03-2010 at 12:58 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    2,652

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    Wait until the Asters stop blooming, wait a few days, and find out. Shake a frame. If nothing comes out, you should be good.

    Roland

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    [QUOTE=waynesgarden;586051 Think there is hope they will finish curing it? [/QUOTE]

    Curing it yes, capping it no.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
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    2,761

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    I hope to finish up feeding this week. I've never really worried about it getting capped or not. As long as I'm finished by mid-month - that seems to be what is important.

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

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    As long as I'm finished by mid-month - that seems to be what is important.
    I agree. In the north, finish by mid-October. I finished feeding nucs and mating nucs today, and started production colonies. Should be finished by the weekend, too Andrew.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    370

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    Michael Palmer-- Your production colonies get down all they need in 1 week??? How much do they take?

    We've been really dry down here and today I took a close look at every hive I've got--The best one had about 4 medium frames capped, not much in the corners of the brood box. The worst was a nuc of Italians I picked up in July who had built up an additional 10 medium frames. Ton of brood activity up in the top super, but nothing but clean drawn combs in the bottom.

    Any recommendations for how to get them to take the syrup down a little faster?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
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    1,398

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    I have a couple of hives where the queen and brood are up top and so is the honey. In one case it's 1 brood box and 3 mediums. The brood box and 1st medium were 100% comb but empty.

    Decided to take the medium with all of the brood and move it to the bottom hoping that they will then start working some in the brood box and perhaps carrying down some of the honey. Also put on a gallon of SW/HBH.

    Had some great honey production early and into June. Harvested most of it. Should have gotten all of it at the time because the SHBs and WMs wreaked most of my hives. Some I got early enough to put the frames in the freezer. Others I could save some of the honey frames with some SHBL in them by freezing them and then boxing them up and bagging them. Others I could just save a lot of frames with the majority of the comb intact.

    Before it's getting too cold here in TN I am thinking about unbagging some of those frames with honey and put them in some of my hives to supplement what the bees have stored so far. Some of the smaller hives (late swarms and cutouts) are not very large. Currenty feeding all of the hives SW/HBH via gallon cans and starting to feed with 5-gallon buckets.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
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    370

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    What's the 5-gallon bucket method? Pop holes and invert it over some supports for open feeding?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    but nothing but clean drawn combs in the bottom.

    Any recommendations for how to get them to take the syrup down a little faster?


    Fill a clean fruit tree sprayer with syrup. Spray those clean drawn combs with syrup and stick them back in the hive.

    You can also feed the strongest hive you have, and then give frames of honey to weaker colonies.

    What's the 5-gallon bucket method?

    Fill a 5 gallon bucket with syrup, put a pile of straw on top so the bees don't drown, and let them open feed. No need for a lid unless it is going to rain. Put a couple sticks across the top of the bucket to prop the lid up if you lay a lid across the top.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Alexandria, VA
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    370

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?



    Genius!

    Would something like this work, or would I need more force to get the syrup into the combs?

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

    I've been trying some open feeding in a shallow tray with some twigs and dead grass in there, but plenty of bees still manage to drown themselves, and a lot more want to kill each other. Do you pack the straw in, or stack it loosly?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    Would something like this work, or would I need more force to get the syrup into the combs?

    It depends how hot your syrup is, and how thick it is.

    I use a very similar sprayer with the V fan nozzle. To get cells filled well, I have found that I want the syrup to come out as a mist. If it is so thick that I can't pump it up enough to come out as a mist, I have a hard time getting the syrup into the cells.

    What works for me is to put some hot tap water into a bucket, and stir in sugar until I can't get any more sugar to dissolve. Then I pour the hot/warm syrup into my sprayer and spray combs. For me, this syrup thickness sprays pretty good. If you heat syrup hotter, you can spray thicker syrup. (Just don't melt your combs - they can't handle boiling temp. syrup.)

    There seems to be a sweet spot for the amount of pressure you need, which you will figure out as you go. It seems that when I pump it up too much, the syrup sprays out so hard that it comes flying back out of the cells instead of filling in the cells. If you don't have it pumped up enough, it won't mist.

    I have a plastic storage tote/tub I lay my frames in while spraying. You do get some overspray and splashback. The tub helps contain most of the excess syrup mess. Plan on having a sticky floor to clean up.

    I use the same sprayer to spray BT on my combs for storage also.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    I've been trying some open feeding in a shallow tray with some twigs and dead grass in there, but plenty of bees still manage to drown themselves, and a lot more want to kill each other. Do you pack the straw in, or stack it loosly?

    It can be loose, but the key is depth. Stuff big wads of straw in to fill the bucket halfway, and then fill the bucket with syrup. The bees can dig through the straw to get the syrup.

    You always have a few bees get killed. The bees go on a feeding frenzy. Remember to keep the bucket 100 yards away from the hives to minimize robbing behavior.

    Throwing chunks of old combs in the bucket can help attract bees if you are having a hard time getting them interested in the syrup.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    2,344

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    So am I reading this correctly.? You pour SW into the frames and then put them into the hive.? Is that OK to do? Don't they have to process it and add some enzymes?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
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    5,308

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tara View Post
    Michael Palmer-- Your production colonies get down all they need in 1 week??? How much do they take?
    Any recommendations for how to get them to take the syrup down a little faster?

    Thanks!
    I feed all they need at once. First I weigh the hice. If they need 2 or 3 or 4 gallons, I give them that much in gallon cans. Place the cans on shims directly on the top bars. The syrup is in contact with the cluster. No need for the bees to break the cluster to get to the syrup...think hive top feeders in cold weather. The bees will take down the syrup in less than a week...even if 5 gallons is given. The bees cluster around the cans, warming the syrup.

    Oh...place an empty hive body around the cans, and the covers on top. Feeding this way helps prevent robbing, too. When feeders are above inner cover, and a little syrup leaks and runs out the crack between the box and inner, then all hell will break loose. With the cans on the top bars, any drip goes on the bees which they quikly clean up.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Agawam, MA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    My honey in the hive is at 25% according to my refractometer. Do i need to get down to 17%? How do i do this? I shake the frames and the honey dosnt come out. Some of the some of the cells are capped on each frame.

    Mike

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
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    1,037

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    I would expect 25% to shake out, have you calibrated lately?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Agawam, MA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    yes i have. how do i dehydrate it?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    Check it again in a few days. If it is dropping, keep waiting.

    Roland

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    So am I reading this correctly.? You pour SW into the frames and then put them into the hive.? Is that OK to do? Don't they have to process it and add some enzymes?

    I spray it into frames, not pour. I've heard of other folks using a coffee can with holes in the bottom to dribble syrup into combs too.

    Why would it not be ok to do this?

    Yes, the bees still have to process it. All this does is save the bees the work involved of moving it from the feeder and into the frames.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Stafford, Virginia
    Posts
    289

    Default Re: Will they cap honey in October? In Maine?

    I have not heard anyone mention this as of yet, but I am using candy boards on top of the hive in addition to the sugar water. I have screens on top of the sugar boards and there is a hole in the center of the board to allow the bees to crawl up to get the candy. When I have the hive top off and the screens are there I can easily spray HBH onto the sugar. They are going through this very well. This is the first year I have done this and I was quite surprised at how much they are consuming.

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