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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    149

    Default Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    First year beekeeper located in Central Arkansas, with two hives and was wanting to know if I could harvest some honey this year. Bees still bring in nector and pollen, I think it is from soy bean fields near my place and maybe from some gardens in peoples yard, there is also some plants blooming on the lake I live on. All boxes are 10 frame.

    First hive with a deep still has new brood and larve in it, first med box is full of capped honey, and second med box has 4 frames capped and the other frames are abut 30 to 60% full of honey.

    Second hive has two deeps, first deep has lots of brood and larve in it, the second deep has 6 frames full of capped honey and the other 4 frames about 70% full of honey. Have added on med box and they have one frame capped and several more with comb and honey on them.

    How much should I leave them or do I leave it all for them.
    Also if they dont fill the boxes up before winter do I leave them or would that be to much for them to mantain during the winter.
    If I was to harvest any should I wait to later in the year, very hot and dry hear this year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    sounds like your bees have done really good considering the drought.

    the amount of honey needed to get the bees through winter depends on what part of the country you are in. maybe there will be someone located closer to you who can share their recommendations for overwintering.

    i would think that you still should get more honey stored during the fall flow, and that you might end up with enough to harvest some.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Grapeland, TX
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    I also would like some information on this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,761

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    i asked around here when i first started, and most folks were using a single deep for brood with medium honey supers, leaving one full medium of honey plus whatever was in the deep for overwintering. so far that has worked well for me.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    I take off all honey as the bees produce it, even from new packages. In September, when all that is blooming is goldenrod and asters, I let the bees fill up one full medium super. I supplement the nectar flow with 2:1 sugar syrup, this is a good time to medicate if that is your approach, as you won't end up with chemicals in your honey. The bees will also pack the outside frames and upper corners of the inside frames of the brood box with honey. Be aware that the time of most need for honey stores will be in the early spring when the hive begins to expand and nectar is not yet flowing. During this time I put some granulated sugar on top of the inner cover, the moisture from the hive gets absorbed in the sugar and the bees will feed on this when all else is gone.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Morgan ,Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    Djs, I guess it all depends on how much it takes to winter in your aea. It also depends on your extraction methods, your time and how much honey you want to take.

    I would at least shoot for a deep and a medium, if not two deeps going into winter. Not knowing your area and a normal winter I would error on the safe side and think two deeps with one full of honey. If you have acess to an extractor I would pull the mediums and put back the pulled comb and feed back 2:1 like Tom said. But I am also alittle greedy and syurp is cheaper than honey.
    I guess what I'm saying is how much you want and how much time you want to repace the take if need be is up to you. I am a gambler and not attached to the hives as much as I once was. I also now know what I need to do if my gamble doesn't pay off. I had to supplement one of my mistakes yesterday. I took both supers a few weeks off a hive and had to add a couple of frames of honey from one to see them trough this dearth and may need to add a feeder to get them trough the fall. But I knew that going into it. Good luck in what ever you decide but at least you will know the options going into what ever you decide. I don't know the local situation on the weather and conditions but I like a little honey from my efforts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Morganton, NC United States
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    I am only in my second year but tend to agree with TomB. I got four nucs in mid May and harvested 20 medium frames of honey from them last weekend. This left them each 5 partially filled frames with 5 to fill up for their winter supply. I will supplement with sugar water if there is not enough aster and goldenrod.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    elmira new york
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    I was suprised that a beek near me actually winters on 9-frame single deeps and has had good success, i tried it last year and had no losses, granted it was a very mild winter but will be doing again this year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    roswell, georgia, USA
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    Unscientifically, I don't touch the 2 bottom boxes, regardless of the configuration. On strong hives I leave a drawn medium or super above that, but the general consencious is that you want the bees to consolidate stores in and around the brood area as winter approaches (not upwards into multiple supers) so that they don't have to break cluster to reach food. By now on my established hives, the bottom box is pretty much a wasteland of old brood comb and nothing else which I will cull all nasties and reverse to the top in early spring for expansion.

    BTW, they are sucking down close to a gallon of 1:1 a day, so protect their winter stores accordingly because they will eat up everything they can to prepare, especially in a dearth.
    EAS Georgia Certified. "Tradition - Even if you have done it the same way for years doesn't mean that it is not stupid."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Harvest Honey or leave in hive

    Thanks everyone for all the respones. I will check the hives this weekend and see if they are still adding honey. I watched them the last couple of mornings before goning to work and they were still bring in pollen. I think I will leave the bottom two boxes on both hives with all frames with capped honey and anything eles above that I will haverset later this month. After havesting I understand I let the bees clean out the frames, is the best way to but them back on the hive or set them out in the yard. If I put them back on how long do I leave them?

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