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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Winnipe, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Sad Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Hi guys,

    I'm a first time beekeeper. I've built two top-bar hives out of 1.75" thick cedar, the hives themselves are well insulated but I may have a serious problem. My 2 packages of bees arrives March 30 and my bees will mostly be forging canola flower. From what I've heard bees will not survive the winter on canola honey. Canola honey crystallizes quickly and the honey it self is rich with nutrients, this causes the bees to make lots of trips to empty their bowels, if it's too cold and they begin to relieve themselves within the hive they will die because of dysentery. What all beekeepers here do is harvest all the honey in mid august and begin feeding the bees high volumes of sugar syrup. Sugar syrup is clean and free of nutrients, it doesn't crystallize as fast as canola and bees have to make very few cleansing flights. But here's the problem I have a top bar hive and I'll have to crush the combs, beekeepers here use langs and don't have to crush the combs.

    Will the bees be able to build all the comb back in August and September if I feed them tons of syrup? And anyone else from Manitoba or elsewhere harvest all the honey and replace it with syrup?

    I don't want my bees to die , please let me know if the syrup method will work.

    Thanks,
    Anderson Litton

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,644

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    As I see the situation, the Lang beekeepers need to harvest before crystallization otherwise the honey will not come out of their combs when in the extractor. But since you are using crush and strain, crystallization is not a serious problem for you. So don't harvest honey the first year, and let the bees eat what they need over winter. Bees can eat crystallized honey. Here's more on that:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/can-bee...allized-honey/

    Given your location, I would try to figure out, before you might actually need it, how you could feed your TBH bees, if needed.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Winnipe, Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    As I see the situation, the Lang beekeepers need to harvest before crystallization otherwise the honey will not come out of their combs when in the extractor. But since you are using crush and strain, crystallization is not a serious problem for you. So don't harvest honey the first year, and let the bees eat what they need over winter. Bees can eat crystallized honey. Here's more on that:
    http://www.honeybeesuite.com/can-bee...allized-honey/

    Given your location, I would try to figure out, before you might actually need it, how you could feed your TBH bees, if needed.
    Thanks for the info Graham, but the problem isn't harvesting it's the fact canola honey and our environment doesn't allow bees to gather water and make cleansing flights that the caused by the "undigestibles" in the honey. Syrup has very few "undigestibles". When the average temperature in winter is -30c bees won't be able to feed on the canola honey and will most likely die.


    Do you think if I harvest all the honey in the beginning of August and begin feeding syrup to my hive, that they'll be able to replace the honey and comb I take by the end of September?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,644

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by And View Post
    ... the problem isn't harvesting it's the fact canola honey and our environment doesn't allow bees to gather water and make cleansing flights that the caused by the "undigestibles" in the honey.
    Are you sure that canola honey really has this issue? Here's an interesting document discussing managing bees on canola, and there can be concerns, but it says nothing about anything related "undigestibles" with canola honey.
    http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/ass...on-canoloa.pdf

    I think you are asking for trouble taking all their comb in August and expecting it to be rebuilt and filled by the end of September. But I certainly could be wrong, and have never kept bees anywhere but Tennessee.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    missouri
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    Quote Originally Posted by And View Post
    Do you think if I harvest all the honey in the beginning of August and begin feeding syrup to my hive, that they'll be able to replace the honey and comb I take by the end of September?
    no way they would have time to replace the comb and get stores built up for winter if you must remove the honey would look at ways to possibly extract it without destroying the comb.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    905

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    And - I would strongly recommend getting new hives to an area where there was a greater variety of flowers. A single monoculture crop won't cut it, especially canola / rapeseed. I would double my wager if I lived that far north. An area with more than half a dozen different crops well-timed would give you a better chance.

    I would add pollen (or substitute) patties and I'd add essential oils to the sugar syrup, but my first priority would be to get those bees nearer to a greater variety of flowers.

    Bejay is correct, but I would be sure to time the honey harvest early, not late. A failed fall bloom would doom your bees, comb or no comb.

    Rader is also correct. Do not harvest the first year...let them build up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Default Re: Harvesting all the honey out've a topbar and feeding syrup? I may have a problem

    I have heard the concept that bees can't eat crystallized honey in the winter. I have never found it to be true. Our fall honey crystallized quickly. The bees don't seem to have any issues with it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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