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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Berrien County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    20

    Default What to do with half capped super frames

    I have a 2 deep hive that I supered (medium) in August with hopes of yielding some fall honey. I'm pretty sure the bees are done making any honey now. There are about 4 frames which are about 20-60% capped. What is the best thing to do with these:

    1) leave them in for the winter (i'm concerned about giving the bees to much space to heat)
    2) Pull the frames and leave near hive for bees to clean up and possibly fill in 2 deeps with more honey
    3) Eat the honey myself (how fast do I need to do this considering the higher sugar content?)
    4) Other options....??

    My main priority is getting this hive to survive over winter here in southwest Michigan.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,626

    Default Re: What to do with half capped super frames

    My personal opinion would be to choose option 1. My understanding is that at least a portion of bees in a winter cluster are inside empty cells (the cluster more compact that way). That means that there is always empty space in a hive, and while the cluster may be warm, that empty space is not really warm.

    IMHO, the value of that food in the super outweighs the possible negative aspect of that less-filled space.

    And regarding Option 3, its not that uncapped nectar has a higher sugar content. The issue is that it has a higher water content. The extra water is what allows fermentation (spoilage, unless you are making mead).
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Berrien County, Michigan USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: What to do with half capped super frames

    Thanks for the advice and pointing out my typo...I really did know that it was extra water that was the issue.. ..boy i really look like a newbie now

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North Salem, IN, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: What to do with half capped super frames

    I'd leave it on there. The bees don't heat the whole box, just the space they occupy. I always put an "attic" on my hives (a frameless super above the inner cover) in winter to confine the warm/moist air that condenses above the bees. If you add dry sugar on top of the inner cover the condensed water drips onto the sugar making candy and enough moisture is added that it becomes an early spring food source. You could do something similar with your unfilled super, put it above the inner cover. They may even pull the honey/nectar down into the deeps before it gets too cold if you do that. Just like everything else in bee keeping - one question = hundreds of answers.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    colo springs,CO,U.S.A.
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: What to do with half capped super frames

    if you choose to leave it on the the top of the hive make sure you remove the queen excluder
    practice random acts of kindness; for emily

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