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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Newton, GA
    Posts
    24

    Default How much honey can I take

    I started my first hive back in early April from a package. I now have 2 deeps and 2 medium supers. Both supers are filled with honey and the deeps are filled with brood, honey, pollen, etc. I know most folks don't rob much during the first year of a package start, but I am wondering if it would hurt anything given my deep-south location (SW GA). Would it hurt to take one super and leave the other?

    I hope to split early next spring.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    I usually like to overwinter with one med super of honey. It seems to work well for me. I would say your safe in takeing one super of it. Plus you still have fall flow to consider down there. Up here in central IL our golden rod has been blooming for several weeks already.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, California
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    This is one of those 'highly local' questions. It depends on what blooms near you, and when as well as temperature and weather. You need to find some (get multiple opinions) experienced beekeepers near you and ask (and then pick what seems best out of the many answers).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,319

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    You have every right to take those two supers and I seriously doubt you will harm your bees by taking them. If the two broodchambers; equipment, bees and honey weigh over 125 pounds then they should be good til spring. Feed them 2:1 syrup if you have any doubt. There are commercial beekeepers in the cold part of Canada that winter in single deeps and then feed the bees heavily after pulling the boxes over the queen excluder. I would think your pulling two supers and feeding would be no more harmful. This not havesting honey from first year colonies is a harmful shibboleth. You need to judge from your bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    I also think you'll be fine taking both supers, provided that after taking them off, the 2 deeps are not light.

    Most people don't rob much during the first year because most packages have a hard time filling out much more than 2 deeps when starting from scratch on bare foundation.

    Congrats on your busy bees!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    Basic rule of thumb is that anything in a deep/brood box is theirs, anything in a super is yours.
    Now, like all rules of thumb it doesn't apply in all situations, but it is a good starting point and will generally be close enough in most situations.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Newton, GA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    Thanks for your responses. Is there anything wrong with leaving more honey than they will need for the winter (Other than I can't eat it)? I am not selling the honey and I feel confident that one super will do me until next year. However, if there is any reason to not leave so much honey, then I can rob both supers and more people happy at Christmas. Typically, our winters are pretty mild , but I would prefer not to feed. I did feed them when starting out, but I figure they would enjoy their own honey more than syrup, I know I do!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: How much honey can I take

    The biggest danger (and I use the phrase loosely here, its not actually dangerous) is that the honey you leave in there all winter long may crystallize. Once it crystallizes, you're never going to be able to extract it, and its theirs for good. They can still dig it out and eat it, but it may take them a little longer to do so than non-crystallized honey, which means they may have trouble making extra room come spring and increase the chances of a swarm.

    Long as you don't mind it being theirs for keeps, and actually pay attention to how they're doing come spring, there's no real danger to leaving them more stores than they really need. Will even help them rev up faster come spring.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

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