Harvesting Honey - what to do with super?
It's been so long since I've done this I can't remember my options. I'm about to harvest a full super of honey. Hive configuration: 4 medium boxes with one of those 4 above the queen excluder (full of honey).
My question: what do I do with the super box once I've taken the full frames out? I remember putting frames back in after spinning the honey out in order for the bees to clean the rest of the honey.
Should I just leave an empty super until I can get the spun frames back in?
After spinning and replacing the frames, should I leave that empty super on through the winter or should I reduce the colony size and ultimately take the super off till next spring?
I live in Folsom, CA (mild wet winters with very little, if any, freezing
Re: Harvesting Honey - what to do with super?
Put it on top of the inner cover if you have one and under the telescoping cover, and the bees will clean it up nicely without storing any capped honey in it.
You can then store it inside, outside in a shed (protected from mice) or leave it on the hive under the inner cover if you want, depending on winter conditions and your ability to store it. Wax moths are not a problem after a frost, so you could leave it on the hive until your first heavy frost, then remove it for storage.
Leaving it on the hive could be a problem if you suffer from small hive beetle problems until it gets cold.
Since you have very mild winters, I'd just extract and put it right back on. The bees can protect it from pests and will fill it as soon as there is a nectar flow.