preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    Default preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    I am curious to know what strategies people have for returning extracted frames to the hives, that don't set off a robbing frenzy. The bees can smell molecules of honey. Just walking wet frames to the hives can set off robbing in my beeyard.

    I am inclined to return them for cleaning out during our next rainy spell, when the bees are not likely to be on the wing. Other thoughts/suggestions?

    Extracting today...

    -Karen in Cincinnati

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  3. #2
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    Jul 2012
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    Kirksville, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    If you have a good flow on, probably nothing to worry about. If it's a bit sparse out there, put them on close to sunset, and keep them covered till they go on the hive. Reduced entrances, etc, are good in a dearth too.

  4. #3
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    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Not a lot of experience with this but I have had good luck when it is windy, or at least breezy. They can't seem to get organized to "attack". But if there is a flow on and you are quick, you probably won't have any problems. J

  5. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Flow's mostly over. Good thoughts.

  6. #5
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    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    I wait until almost dark, as Dan says.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Just work fast and get it done.
    The best way I've found to get the frames cleaned up after extraction is to add an empty box above the inner cover, then stack your extracted supers above the empty box, then a tight fitting cover. You can get that done in less than a minute, before the robbers have a chance to get in the way. The bees will have the honey in the comb cleaned up and moved down below in a few days and then you can pull the cleaned up supers.
    To everything there is a season....

  8. #7
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    Apr 2016
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    Detroit, MI, USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    Just work fast and get it done.
    The best way I've found to get the frames cleaned up after extraction is to add an empty box above the inner cover, then stack your extracted supers above the empty box, then a tight fitting cover. You can get that done in less than a minute, before the robbers have a chance to get in the way. The bees will have the honey in the comb cleaned up and moved down below in a few days and then you can pull the cleaned up supers.
    I do almost the same thing above the inner cover. Never used the extra box, just the frames in their own box above the inner cover.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Just extract and put back on the hive! If you don't need them anymore this season, spray with BT and store wet.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
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    403

    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Just extract and put back on the hive! If you don't need them anymore this season, spray with BT and store wet.
    BT?
    I'm drawing a blank.....
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

  11. #10
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Quote Originally Posted by DanielD View Post
    put them on close to sunset...
    this, and use a smoker.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Southeast Texas
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    also tape up any cracks or holes in boxes. less area to defend if robbing gets started

  13. #12
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    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Quote Originally Posted by pezdaddy View Post
    Never used the extra box, just the frames in their own box above the inner cover.
    Either way works fine. An empty box between seems to create a sense of separation and the bees view the wet combs as an "outside" source. Might just be my imagination but they seem to clean them up quicker with an empty box above the inner cover.
    To everything there is a season....

  14. #13
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    Jun 2011
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    Keene, New Hampshire, USA
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    208

    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    And put on a robbing screen, just to be safe.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Enfield, NC
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    51

    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    I set them out and let them rob the frames clean, the trick is to set them a good distance from the other hives. Generally I put them a couple hundred yards away. It looks like a frenzy but all the robbing is oriented far away from the hives so I donít get actual robbing in the yard. I have some hives with scales under them and the weight gain is impressive when I do it. After a couple of days I run the dry frames through a freezer for a week and store inside until I need them again. Works beautifully.

  16. #15
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    Jun 2016
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    ann arbor, mi
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    after extraction I put them evenly across all the hives wet and have them backfill with whats hopefully the next flow (goldenrod etc) and extract again. On last flow, I set them out 100 yards away and there should be a cloud of bee's robbing and cleaning till all dry. Store for winter.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Cedar City, Utah
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    45

    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    The best way I've found to get the frames cleaned up after extraction is to add an empty box above the inner cover, then stack your extracted supers above the empty box, then a tight fitting cover. You can get that done in less than a minute, before the robbers have a chance to get in the way. The bees will have the honey in the comb cleaned up and moved down below in a few days and then you can pull the cleaned up supers.
    I also put "wet" frames in an empty super above the inner cover. No clouds of frenzied bees to terrify the neighbors. No rubbing shoulders with diseased bees coming from within a 2-5 mile radius.

    I do the same thing with equipment used in the harvest such as strainers, buckets, etc. After a couple of days above the inner cover, everything is clean enough to only need a final rinse.
    A cold bee smoker is bad for the soul.

  18. #17
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    Mar 2018
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    Jasper, Missouri, USA
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    4

    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT), presumably against wax moths, etc. However, I never store wet unless each frame spends at least 24 hours in the deep freeze, and then I prefer to use Para-Moth to guard against wax moths.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Franklin county Massachusetts
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    3

    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Roberson View Post
    I set them out and let them rob the frames clean, the trick is to set them a good distance from the other hives. Generally I put them a couple hundred yards away. It looks like a frenzy but all the robbing is oriented far away from the hives so I donít get actual robbing in the yard. I have some hives with scales under them and the weight gain is impressive when I do it. After a couple of days I run the dry frames through a freezer for a week and store inside until I need them again. Works beautifully.
    OK< This may sound like a stupid question But: what exactly does the deep freeze do?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    The temps in the freezer will destroy wax moth eggs on the frames. Since his frames are then stored inside there is little chance of re-infestation as they will then be isolated from the adult moths.
    To everything there is a season....

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: preferred ways to return wet frames to the hive so as to avoid robbing frenzy

    If you use BT to guard against wax moths, make darn SURE that the BT is current. Youíll pay a large price in lost comb if is not. Donít just spray the comb but also the inside of the boxes.
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