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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    36

    Default How long to leave full honey super on?

    I 'm in a Catch-22. I have 2 supers on a very active hive, the top one is 90% capped and is very heavy.
    I want to put a 3rd one on, and under the heavy one. the problem is that sucker is so heavy I really want to just take it off.
    The issue is that I don't want to have to do extraction twice, since I borrow equipment, and I only have the one hive.

    How long can I store a honey super in my dry, temp controlled basement? I am hoping to take the other supers off by 3rd week in June. The nectar flow will probably be done by Mid June.

    Thanks!
    New Bee Lady

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Two things come to mind:
    1. If you can get someone to help pick up the heaviest super so that you can put the empty super underneath, the bees will take care of it for you.
    2. If you remove it, the crop you want to harvest will be at risk of having insect damage (wax moth, and possibly other pests as well) unless you freeze the frames. Once frozen, they can be held at room temperature in your basement until the remainder of your crop is ready to harvest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,836

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    I would put the empty on first the 90% next and the full one on top. Stack em up if you don't want to extract until you do. I like to extract supers because putting a wet box back on often results in another full box and I like lots of full supers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,893

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    You could take frames out of the heavy box so that it will be lighter when you move it...then put the frames back in when you have the heavy box where you want it.

    Ed

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Thanks Vance,
    But the problem is I can't lift the full one. It's either got to be left on for now, or taken off. ( I have one more lift in me)
    Ideally I would like to put the empty one on bottom but then I would be faced with lifting a 30+lb box level with my chin. Nope, am no super woman.

    So, my tag line should read: How long can you store a honey super?

    Looks like I may just leave it on - add the 3rd one on top, and maybe bait it with a frame from the full one.

    Maybe by mid June I can build a concrete block step so I don't keel over with my bees hard work when I go to take down the supers! I am not too short, but this hive is looking like a tower.

    New Bee Lady

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knisely View Post
    2. ............... unless you freeze the frames. Once frozen, they can be held at room temperature in your basement until the remainder of your crop is ready to harvest.
    Just so I understand, it's ok to freeze capped honey; then let it thaw and store it for a few weeks? This has no effect on the honey?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Laurel, MD
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Thanks Ed,
    That sounds easy enough. Boy, do I feel dumb. Am happy now, I can put the empty one on the bottom. Hoooorah!
    But I still need a set of steps, it's starting to look like a tower.
    New Bee Lady

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Yes, you can freeze honey without affecting its quality. It is perhaps most frequently done for comb honey, and we all know how good that is!

    Do a search on this website (include the quotation marks) for "freezing honey".

    I wish I had thought of Ed's solution. Simple and easy!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Centerville Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    I do not want to hijack this post but in reading it I have a question. First let me say I am new, but I have never read about putting the empty under the full. I thought you just keep stacking the next empty on top... Could someone explain this to me Please

    Thanks Jerry ...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    269

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewBeeLady View Post

    How long can I store a honey super in my dry, temp controlled basement? I am hoping to take the other supers off by 3rd week in June. The nectar flow will probably be done by Mid June.

    Thanks!
    New Bee Lady
    Excepts from "The Hive and the Honeybee ;

    "The initiation of granulation occurs most quickly at 41-45*F," while it "granulates most quickly at around 50-60* F, (with a peak of 57*)"
    -----------

    The farther away from that temperature, either colder or warmer, the longer it will take to granulate. Fresh frozen comb honey will last for years in the freezer, and keep for a up to few months once thawed. Wrap tightly in saran wrap to keep out the stray odors that both honey & wax absorb.

    Storage/harvest tip: Lifting/twisting & lowering first one end, then the other end of each super, a day before you remove them will greatly reduce a sticky mess. The burr comb cells of honey between the supers are broken, and the bees "pre-clean" much of the mess. Store in a large Tupperware tub, or stack on a solid piece of plywood and cover with the same, depending on what fits your style.

    It is "normally several months before granulation sets in", avoiding the 50-60* range by as much as is practical. Therefore a cool basement is probably one of the less ideal places for temporary storage, but you could probably (quite likely) get away with it for a few months in many cases. Different honeys granulate at different rates - Tupelo Honey "when pure, does not granulate".

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,099

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    If you have hive beetles around, they will ruin honey by causing it to ferment in just a couple of days if you don't freeze it first.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,399

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    >How long can I store a honey super in my dry, temp controlled basement?

    If it's dry enough the beetle eggs won't hatch. If it's not dry enough, you will have a mess from them. Wax moths eggs are probably already present as well, and they will demolish things quickly. All of that assumes the ants don't find it first... The safest place for honey is on the hive where the bees can guard it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,793

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Welcome NBL!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: How long to leave full honey super on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colobee View Post
    Excepts from "The Hive and the Honeybee"

    Storage/harvest tip: Lifting/twisting & lowering first one end, then the other end of each super, a day before you remove them will greatly reduce a sticky mess. The burr comb cells of honey between the supers are broken, and the bees "pre-clean" much of the mess.
    That's so awesome. It's almost embarrassing to make the girls do all the work!

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