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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,396

    Default l) Harvesting first honey

    Should you take honey the first year? If so, how? How much? Various methods for harvesting the honey.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-04-2014 at 02:19 PM.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Cookeville, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: l) Harvesting first honey

    All of my hives consist of double deeps. If the bees build up enough to draw comb on both deeps then I add a super (shallow or medium). I only remove, for my use, the honey frames in the supers. I do not rob (again, for my use) any honey frames from the deep boxes.

    My frames are extracted, either in a manual extractor or motorized extractor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,396

    Default Re: l) Harvesting first honey

    I think it's very important that the beekeeper err on the side of being conservative with how much honey they take off their first year hives. How much winter honey the hives will store up on their own differs greatly with location. Where I'm at, I can remove the honey supers before the fall flow starts and know that they will have plenty of nectar available from their winter stores. I encourage beekeepers to only take a frame or two for their own use the first year and reserve the rest for winter use, either on the hive or as backup to add if needed.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,322

    Default Re: l) Harvesting first honey

    Barry,

    People ask your first question in many different ways. I have heard it hundreds of times. The answer is MAYBE! It depends on your location, the year, your expertise and care of the bees along with a lot of factors out of ones control. In some locations people strip all the honey and "capture" what they can. ( ie... bees in Alaska) Most people want to keep their bees alive through whatever winter they are going to encounter. The longer the winter the more weight in feed the bees will need to survive. In most locations a hive needs 30 - 80 lbs of honey to do so.

    If they encounter a winter like the one you have this year all bets are off... Dead bees from disease and lack of feed will be the norm this spring when people open up hives in the Midwest and east coast...

    As per extraction or harvesting? I'll let others answer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    morgantown, west virgina
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: l) Harvesting first honey

    To share my own error-- don't assume the bees will fill the basement before filling the attic! I happily took honey supers and then discovered empty bottom deeps. I already know that was stupid so back off!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Kinder, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: l) Harvesting first honey

    I have no experience, but wanted to share my plan. I had one hive last year that was a late season cutout and they were slow to build up. That hive got robbed and died out over winter. This spring, I have two hives from cut outs and they are building up way fast.
    I will NOT take any honey this year. Instead, let them go through a season to see how much they consume. Then use that as a reference for the following year....of course compensating for how harsh or mild the winter may be.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Bibb County, AL
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: l) Harvesting first honey

    I am a first year beekeeper and I left all the honey the bees produced on their respective hives. I felt one hive did not have enough for the winter, didn't know it was going to be this cold in Alabama, so I made a candy board and put it on one of the hive also. Spring is here and the girls are thriving. from other post I have read I am glad that I sacrificed no Honey for myself and left it for the bees. I feel I made the right decision for a first year newbee. Looking forward to the rewards this year.

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