Can honey harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Can honey harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    I had two hives last winter from one swarm I caught the summer before last. My goal for the year was to have four hives and a nuc or two by fall and finally my first few pounds of honey. After several splits and three swarms I caught, I'm up to seven hives and two nucs each three medium 5 frames. We had no dearth this year. Lots of rain. I think I have might have about 150 pounds of surplus honey. Aster and golden rod are about to start blooming so more to come. I'm pretty amazed about the increase. The only problem is that I'm having thyroid problems and some extreme fatigue. Can I put off this harvesting honey until I'm feeling better?

    I did harvest six pounds a few weeks ago. It was a bit strong tasting, floral, from wild prairie flowers I think. OK but not my favorite.

    All my bees are from swarms. Most truly feral, I think. One from an unmanaged hive. All were already small bees. I find that very satisfying. I started with one colony of purchased bees, but they died out.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
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    1,612

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    Now days I wait till spring.Its pretty hot when the flow is over here.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    Yes, you can at any time.
    Just make sure to leave some so that they can overwinter.
    If you feel much better I would recommend you to take all
    the honey and feed them sugar syrup. But in this case
    your health is more important. Consider getting a constant
    supply of seaweeds mixing them in smoothie should help you over time.
    Check with your doc. and the composition of seaweed on the net.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    277

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    If you just take what you need when the bees can spare it you will have no problems. Its when you try to make too much money out of them and push them that you get most of the problems.
    Cheers
    Rob

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ...r I would recommend you to take all
    the honey and feed them sugar syrup.... Consider getting a constant
    supply of seaweeds mixing them in smoothie should help you over time.
    Check with your doc. and the composition of seaweed on the net.
    The OP didn't ask and I'm not a doctor so I'm not going to recommend any health remedies. I will however recommend not stealing all your bees honey, including the honey they need to survive the winter and replacing it with sugar water.

    The OP seems to have an ample amount of surplus so why should he or she get greedy and take all? Then time, effort and money must be spent to get their stores up to survival level.

    There have been threads here about robbing 100% of a hive's honey. Probably not so many about the medical value of seaweed.

    Wayne

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Red Bud, IL, USA
    Posts
    1,810

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    +1 with Snapper, harvest can wait till spring with no ill effects - it might even save a colony or two.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    2,425

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    Could wax moths be a factor to consider in your area?

    Wayne

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    ElDorado,Arkansas,USA
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    Thats also one of the reasons I like to wait till spring.Then there is no reason to lose any bees to starvation.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    Thanks everybody. I've heard about the seaweed. I may try that. I don't know what my doctor has in mind yet. Waiting on some more advanced tests.

    We do have wax moths. I've only seen them in the hive that died. Can they be a problem in a healthy hive?

    I won't take all the honey. My goal is actually to raise treatment free bees and sell bees mainly. So far no problems with treatment free, but I know it's too soon to tell. Pretty sure the one hive died because I rolled the queen trying to fix some really messed up comb.I hadn't expected to expand so fast. I meant to just keep a few at a time until I knew what I was doing, then start expanding in about 5 years. I can probably retire from my job in 7 years.If they all survive the winter, guess I'll either sell some hives or make a lot of nucs.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    generally for strong hives leaving capped honey on is not an issue.


    You do not want to open the hive during winter unless you have a warm day. (60deg F)

    some beeks will wait untill first dandelions of the spring and then pull all the capped honey off the hive from the previous year.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Can hone harvest be delayed until winter or even spring?

    The problem with waiting until spring in my location is that it will all be crystallized by spring and not easy to harvest.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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