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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Moorefield, OH
    Posts
    12

    Default Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Hi all. Last year was my first year keeping bees. I didn't take any honey in the fall because I didn't want my bees to starve. Thanks to the mild winter here in Ohio, both hives survived When I checked the hives last week here is what I found. (btw, I use all medium, 8 frame boxes) Top box, all 8 frames had honey. Box 2: prob about 4 frames honey, 4 frames brood. Box 3: mostly pollen otherwise pretty empty. Bottom box: empty

    So what I'm wondering, is can I take the honey from the top box? I don't know since I am unsure if they will need it if we have a cold snap. I did not treat the bees in the fall, so no worries about contaminated honey.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Glad to hear your bees overwintered well, sounds like you are in pretty good shape. Your colonies have a lot more brood expansion coming up and you want to leave them with plenty of stores to make it through any extended periods of cold or wet weather this spring. Others may have different ideas, but here is what I would do.

    Move your box with brood to the bottom. Above that, add two boxes with alternating frames of honey and empty comb. Leave the 4th empty box on top. Your bees will work their way upward and consume the honey as they expand the brood nest into the next two boxes. Later when the flow kicks in you will find new nectar being stored in the top box.

    This has been an unusual spring so you may be able to get away with taking some honey from them. But it's surprising how quickly a booming spring colony can go through stores during a long period of spring rain.
    To everything there is a season....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Arcade,NY
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    I wouldn't take the honey. Let the bees build up more stores till you have enough stores for them to get through another winter. I like 100 lbs for the bees. if I get more honey I can take some for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Veronica, we keep bees so we can eat honey. A few frames for you will not change some grand plans of empire. I am not advocating you take your bees last meal. You will need to keep watching anyway and make sure that your bees do not go hungry. It takes basically a frame of honey to make a frame of bees and hopefully your bees will be building a lot of brood. You should be getting a spring flow to replace any you take soon anyway. Enjoy your honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Veronica, did you feed during the fall while those frames were on the hive? I did, and I have been told that I can't use the honey since it could be adulterated with sugar syrup. It's too bad because I have at least two 8-frame mediums on each hive that are still almost completely full and my flow has already begun. Maybe one of the experienced beeks can weigh in on this issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,996

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Actually even if you fed last fall you could still eat that "honey" as long as you didn't medicate. It might not exactly be honey, but you can eat sugar syrup too. What do you think that is in the jars at Wal-Mart?

    I kid - it's probably a very honey like substance. Mostly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    I added Honey B Healthy to the syrup. Does that make it inedible?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,876

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    No it would not ruin the honey. I will shut up now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    That's a huge relief. I haven't known what to do with all these frames of honey left over from a much milder than expected winter. I don't have enough room in my freezer to keep them there and I am afraid that wax moths/small hive beetles will ruin them if I keep them in storage until fall. If I can just extract them, this will be much easier.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Extract it and try it! If you like it eat it! If it tastes like sugar syrup, no honey taste, then save it and feed it back to the bees for winter stores. No freezer space? Save it on top of a hive; just mark it as being syrup.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,404

    Default Re: Is the honey left over from winter "extra" that I can take?

    Quote Originally Posted by VaNewbee View Post
    I added Honey B Healthy to the syrup. Does that make it inedible?
    The Honey B Healthy label says , "If accidentally ingested seek medical help."

    I'm sure that was directed toward the bozo who decided to guzzle down a little straight from the bottle... but there may be more to it than that.

    I would extract the super and put it up in jars until later this summer. I'm sure the bees would love to have it back during the dog days of August.
    To everything there is a season....

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