When can you harvest honey
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI.
    Posts
    16

    Default When can you harvest honey

    So I went down today and opened up my 2 hives figuring it was 50 some degrees out. My hives had moisture in them....
    No Bees were moving at all. So I guess they are all dead!! Very disappointing , but there is honey in the frames still .
    Since I have no bees now I guess I can extract the honey at any time. Question does it need to be a certain temp to do this. I would think the warmer the better to extract, but doing it inside the house I would think would be warm enough... wouldn't it

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    Before you extract - did you use any medications (or feeds) that you as a human should not consume? You may be better off using the frames to give replacement packages or whatever a head start.

    In terms of extracting, I've found that honey flows slowly at 65F - much better at 85F. All depends on what temp you keep your house.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    If the frames of honey are unmedicated, I would think you could extract the honey at any time. If you do extract, I would bring the frames into a room that is 85F and let the frames warm up for at least 24 hours before extracting. You can also take a toothpick and poke into the cells and check to see if the honey has crystalized. If it has crystalized, I would feed it back to another batch of bees.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI.
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    No I never used any medicated anything on my bees. I think I will keep some of the honey from one hive and collect the honey from the other hive. I am just not sure how the moisture would have gotten I the hives to begin with. Maybe not sealed good enough?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,555

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    Maybe too sealed, did you have a upper entrance for venting?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Fenton, MI.
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    So I think now my bees are ALIVE!!!! I am not 100% sure. I know you loose some bees. So when I opened up my hive on that last nice 50 degree days we had(the top box is what I took off)and seen that the bees were dead I assumed and I know better than that too. But now that the days are getting warmer I was down their today to check on them. And there were quite a few out flying around the hives I am very Happy I pulled the feeders out and filled them out will start checking them regularly.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    3,796

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    Quote Originally Posted by Steeltapsryup View Post
    No I never used any medicated anything on my bees. I think I will keep some of the honey from one hive and collect the honey from the other hive. I am just not sure how the moisture would have gotten I the hives to begin with. Maybe not sealed good enough?

    Bee Respiration

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Shelby, NC, USA
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    Are you sure they aren't being robbed?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,857

    Default Re: When can you harvest honey

    In the normal course of bees keeping themselves alive in winter, they give off moist air. It is similar to a human sitting in a cold vehicle with the windows rolled and the heat/AC/fan shut off. You breathe, and exhale humid air - the bees do also.

    While it may seem like a paradox, that humid air needs to be vented from the hive. If the humidity isn't (mostly) vented, it will condense and may drip on the cluster. The bees are much better equipped to keep themselves warm if they can stay dry. (It works that way for humans too.)

    Yes, venting the humid air also allows some heat to escape, but the consequences of not dealing with the condensation are worse than allowing some heat to escape the hive.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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