seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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    320

    Default seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    I'm about to extract and am questioning my usual practice of returning wet frames to the hive. While there's still some flow (mainly white clover) we could be getting close to robbing season. The bees seem clearly to get very agitated even when open honey is introduced into their own hive, let alone to neighboring hives. And then there's creating a small hive beetle attraction - the aroma of fresh honey will be irresistible. Yet I prefer that I don't give away the residual honey in spun frames to all the bees in the neighborhood.

    What are your thoughts about returning a box full of wet frames to the hive?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
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    471

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    I do. Bees start working in them sooner, so it seems.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Bunker Hill, IL
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    891

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    I do it each year, however depending on how early it is i generally dont give them all the frames directly on the hive as i dont want a bunch of half filled frames going into fall that I have to manage.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,171

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    I do when I extract. Above the inner cover and they move it right down.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,355

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    If you are in a lull in the flow, put on robbing screens. I assume it will not help with SHB, but it will prevent robbing. If your hives are strong, they should keep the SHB at bay. Not much experience, but I am a fan of putting wet frames back on. They clean them up nice and they will refill them faster. Like Ravenseye says, above the inner cover. Recheck a few days later and remove the inner cover if they are cleaned out. Leave supers on if they are bringing in nectar, remove and treat with BT if you are done for the year. J

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
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    891

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    I made a mistake and left the supers on for too long and the bees started storing fresh nectar in the supers. I've since quit putting wet frames and supers back on the hives. It is too much work having to clear the bees from the supers twice per season. After extraction, the frames are not that wet and haven't had any problems storing the frames.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
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    823

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    I made a mistake and left the supers on for too long and the bees started storing fresh nectar in the supers. I've since quit putting wet frames and supers back on the hives. It is too much work having to clear the bees from the supers twice per season. After extraction, the frames are not that wet and haven't had any problems storing the frames.
    Agree with not placing 'wet" supers back on our hives. Do not put them up wet but quit adding back to hives years ago. Just stack 'em and rack 'em outside and let the bees clean them up. Sure likely to feed a few bees besides mine but no problems with robbing and do not have to remove the same supers twice.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Butler Co, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Guess I'm odd here. I extract, replace on hives for a second fill, then extract again. After the second time, I just stack them in my storage shop 12 high and place a paper towel with para moth crystals on top of the stack. An empty box and lid completes storage prep till next spring when I repeat the process. 130+ boxes done this way last fall/winter.

    What's the benefit of having bees clean them up? It's a lot of work or it's an exposure to foulbrood problems as far as I can see.
    Hindsight is 20/10, not 20/20...
    After the fact, I always know what didn't work.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    asheville, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default

    I put them back on to be cleaned up in preparation to be filled by the sourwood flow. I also put a few thin foundation and foundationless frames in. I extract twice a year. After the sourwood flow I put some of them above the inner cover to be well cleaned. Then I put the honey frames in a Ziploc storage box with gasket lid till next spring. No chemicals needed if they have not had brood raised in them. No problems with mold if they were cleaned up good by the bees. I have only had mold twice when the box was pushed up against the shed wall. (Temperature extremes and condensation I guess). I am in western NC , location probably makes a difference.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
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    823

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdfarmer555 View Post
    Guess I'm odd here. I extract, replace on hives for a second fill, then extract again. After the second time, I just stack them in my storage shop 12 high and place a paper towel with para moth crystals on top of the stack. An empty box and lid completes storage prep till next spring when I repeat the process. 130+ boxes done this way last fall/winter.

    What's the benefit of having bees clean them up? It's a lot of work or it's an exposure to foulbrood problems as far as I can see.
    Not odd to me. Different is here, Southeast Alabama, our flow is mid-March till the end of May. A small Fall flow of Goldenrod and a few other weeds but just not enough for most folks to extract again. I do in June after extraction almost like you do. Leave outside a few days for our bees to "dry up" the frames and enjoy a free and easy snack. Remove frames and freeze for 3 days, put back in boxes and store till next spring. Freezing might not be needed but it insure the frame are "bug" free when stored.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    853

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Too much work. I wheel them out around 3:30 p.m. and return them to the barn after sunset. Usually all clean and dry. No robbing if done only once. This is usually done in the Fall. OMTCW

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
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    823

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Hill View Post
    Too much work. I wheel them out around 3:30 p.m. and return them to the barn after sunset. Usually all clean and dry. No robbing if done only once. This is usually done in the Fall. OMTCW

    Do you have any wax moths and SHB in your area? Have to take extra precautions here to keep both out of the frames before and during storing.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    891

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundhwg View Post
    Do you have any wax moths and SHB in your area? Have to take extra precautions here to keep both out of the frames before and during storing.
    As long as the comb has not had pollen or brood in them, wax moths and SHB will ignore them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Ozark, AL
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    823

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by ericweller View Post
    As long as the comb has not had pollen or brood in them, wax moths and SHB will ignore them.
    This is not true. You might want to do a bit more research. Below is a couple of links you might want to read. Also from personnel experience I have seen the damage they wax moths can do to frames that have never had anything but honey on them.

    https://carolinahoneybees.com/wax-moths-in-bee-hives/

    Wax moths prefer comb that has been used by the bees. The wax moth larvae eat beeswax, the remains of bee larval cocoons, bee cocoon silk and bee feces in the cell. Bee cocoons are the materials left behind by a developing honey bee. Any comb that has had bee brood, will be more attractive to wax moths.
    Wax moths in bee hives are more of a problem in areas of the hive that has held brood. But wax moth larva can live on pure beeswax. Therefore,comb from honey supers is not completely safe. (This is another reason to try to keep honey bee brood out of your honey supers.)

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswaxmoths.htm

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Pleasant Valley, NY
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    81

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Agree with Groundhwg. I have experienced extreme wax moth damage with nothing in the cells.

  17. #16
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    Jan 2013
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    Lumpkin County, GA
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    891

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    I stand corrected. I have had wax moth infested frames where there is both honey cells and brood cells. The wax moth larvae completely consumed the brood cells leaving a webbed mess but stopped at the honey cells. That was probably because there were other frames with brood cells that they wanted to consume. I always freeze my frames before storing which is why I never really had a problem with storage.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    asheville, north carolina, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default

    I asked my wife how long I have had those storage boxes with the foam gasket lid and she said 3 winters. I thought it was a little longer but her memory is usually better than mine. I don't know if the wax moths are not as bad here as they used to be or if the seals are that good. Something is working for me. Freezing frames is not an option for me. It is a long time from the first week of August to the first hard freeze here. I quit using moth crystals when I got the totes. If the frames don't look absolutely dry I put them in alternating super stacks till they are well cleaned. I had a little damage on boxed brood frames. Last season I put most of the brood combs in a heavy black contractors bag and lost all of them. Maybe I need a few more seasons chemical free storage before I get too confident with my method. Too many well respected experts whom I respect and glean information from say this method shouldn't work consistently.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    853

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by Groundhwg View Post
    Do you have any wax moths and SHB in your area? Have to take extra precautions here to keep both out of the frames before and during storing.
    Each frame was sprayed with BT (not every year) Bacillus Thurigensis. It works quite well to keep the wax moths away. They are dry so it may be the reason there are not SHB problems. OMTCW

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Albany, ga
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Cedar Hill, do you store the dry frames in the open air of the barn?

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
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    853

    Default Re: seeking opinions about returning wet supers to hives after extracting

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin King View Post
    Cedar Hill, do you store the dry frames in the open air of the barn?
    No, they remain enclosed in their supers. They are placed directly one on top of another, every other year, ea. frame is sprayed on both sides with BT. (Bacillus Thurigensis) Ea. super separated by a complete layer of paper sometimes Paradichlorobenzene is also spread. OMTCW

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