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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Halfway, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Too Much Surplus?

    After cranking out over 10 gallons of honey in the 2 frame, hand-crank extractor this summer - I'm over it!! There are several hives with that still have surplus honey on them (two deeps, two mediums - three of which are capped honey). Is there a detriment to just leaving those supers on?

    I also have some single deep nucs which I have been feeding honey. Could I alternatively just plop those mediums on deserving nucs?

    Also, whereas I once though that I also wanted hand-crank extractor - being all luddite and whatnot... NO WAY! Instead, I'll come up with a turnstile horsepower HAHA!! Until then, I'll plug it in!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    815

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    I like leaving 3 or more hives untouched and use the frames for feed during dearth. My climate is much different than yours as our bees forage year round--pollen year round but not nectar so I have learned that they can go through alot of stores between flows. I keep honey on the hives, and I have room in my freezer for about 8 frames.

    I too have a 2 frame crank extractor, and in spring I harvested almost 300 lbs of honey. I do about 3-4 supers at a time with a few days off between, and watch lots of movies to keep distracted. I figure it's good exercise and I like the portability of the 2 framer. It's a nice one from Dadant. But that's me.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Halfway, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    Our bees don't fly at all between November and early March. The nectar flow ended about 2 weeks ago and won't start up again until willow and fruit bloom. There is still some pollen.

    I'm not worried about exercise, I'm worried about carpal-tunnel! I keep this bee yard on a 150 acre organic vegetable, grain, and alfalfa farm. We also have pigs, cows, chickens and use horses for a lot of the field work. As the only person who works the bees, it's just not an efficient use of my time... Although, I'm sure when I start my own operation I'll have one, cuz they are darn convenient.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    You could always advertise for people to come out to the farm and pay to extract their own organic honey from the hives themselves. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,234

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    I know a beekeeper who takes his crop in May, from the previous years production.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    I'm a first year beek with 4 hives and I've made two extravagant purchases this year, along with buying all the other required things to raise bees, that I do not regret. One was for a Maxant 9-frame power extractor and the other was for an Ultra Breeze beesuit. I own a U-Pick berry farm and one thing I've learned since getting into the farming business, buy quality tools that save you time, especially if you're going to be making money from the products you produce - and you can definitely make money selling local, raw honey! Yes, they weren't cheap, but I'm not getting stung anymore through my suit and the extraction process takes much less time and energy than doing it the old fashion way. My recommendation, spend the few extra $$$ and buy a power extractor. Nothing better than to have the extractor running while your decapping your next set of frames, or for that matter, just watching it spin !
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,922

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    Having used a hand crank extractor for the first 15 years or so of my beekeeping experience, I can say that the size of the extractor is very important. We had (still have actually) a four frame extractor. Yes, it is work, but a bigger manual extractor takes the same amount of time to extract double or quadruple the amount of honey in the same time. After the extractor is up to speed the difference in effort to keep the extractor going isn't that much.

    I'll admit to having a power extractor now and as I got older and my kids moved away I decided that after I got to 15-20 supers that it was probably a good use of my money, but if the luddite lifestyle appeals to you, a larger manual extractor would make a big difference.

    To answer your question, it easy to just leave as much honey on the hives as you want. When we had bees in Cove (over the Wallowa's from you) we left most of their honey on the hives for winter. We kept them mostly for pollination and not so much for honey production so they kept most of their honey over winter.
    Bruce

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Halfway, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
    You could always advertise for people to come out to the farm and pay to extract their own organic honey from the hives themselves. WVMJ
    Extract your own honey - I like it! My brother and I came up with 'Dig your own Potatoes', not sure if that would ever take off...

    Quote Originally Posted by barberberryfarm View Post
    Nothing better than to have the extractor running while your decapping your next set of frames, or for that matter, just watching it spin !
    I definitely experienced that when working for a beekeeper in western Oregon. Nothing compared to flying through 15 gallons in an afternoon. I appreciate the ability to be able to work without electricity but I also value my time when I still have to unharness horses, feed cows, change eveners, grind pig grain etc, etc...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,234

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    U probably know that most sects of Amish don't use electricity. But they do use gasoline or diesel engines to power machinery. I'll show you our Maytag w/ thge Briggs and Straton Engine under it that we bought from Amish Washer Supply, Mt. Hope, OH, when you come for the magazines. Many Amish machinery shops and cabinet shops use beltdrive lathes and table saws and planer/joiners all driven by diesel engines. I bet you could do the same w/ an extractor.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bay City, MI
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazel-Rah View Post
    After cranking out over 10 gallons of honey in the 2 frame, hand-crank extractor this summer - I'm over it!! There are several hives with that still have surplus honey on them (two deeps, two mediums - three of which are capped honey). Is there a detriment to just leaving those supers on?

    I also have some single deep nucs which I have been feeding honey. Could I alternatively just plop those mediums on deserving nucs?

    Also, whereas I once though that I also wanted hand-crank extractor - being all luddite and whatnot... NO WAY! Instead, I'll come up with a turnstile horsepower HAHA!! Until then, I'll plug it in!
    Kinghoney is offering a add on motor next spring i would check it out.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Halfway, Oregon, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Too Much Surplus?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    U probably know that most sects of Amish don't use electricity. But they do use gasoline or diesel engines to power machinery. I'll show you our Maytag w/ thge Briggs and Straton Engine under it that we bought from Amish Washer Supply, Mt. Hope, OH, when you come for the magazines. Many Amish machinery shops and cabinet shops use beltdrive lathes and table saws and planer/joiners all driven by diesel engines. I bet you could do the same w/ an extractor.
    The Amish are behind most of the motorized forecarts that are on the market today, mostly for running balers and rotovators. I appreciate their ingenuity but I'm not sure I can get my head around the principle of a four horse hitch with a 40 hp engine on it... It just sounds like more small engines that I don't know how to fix... Though the diesels seem more versatile and hardy.

    Quote Originally Posted by beedeetee View Post
    Yes, it is work, but a bigger manual extractor takes the same amount of time to extract double or quadruple the amount of honey in the same time. After the extractor is up to speed the difference in effort to keep the extractor going isn't that much.
    I could get behind that. It will probably be quite a few years before I back up to the surpluses I have on this farm. I want to start focusing on breeding more...

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