What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    379

    Default What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    Last Winter I lost 5 hives. I re-used the bottom deep Supers this year and these new colonies are doing great.
    The trouble is, I have five awful heavy deep supers that had the honey that the bees were supposed to use throughout the winter.

    I have these all sealed in heavy garbage bags.

    I've already added a second deep on all my hives but one, but yet these heavy deeps need me to do something with them!

    Feeding back to the bees: I had one deadout last year and re-used the empty bottom deep. Like this year, the top deep was heavy. I placed it 75 yards from one set of hives for the bees to rob. Honestly, I was not impressed with their work. Those frames were a mess still at the end of the season.

    I could extract the honey, but I'm not real interested in doing so. Dark comb, crystalized honey = work and not great looking honey.

    Thoughts?
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,545

    Default Re: What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    I uncapped some and used hot water and fine spray nozzle to flush the thick honey out. It really is too slow. Did you uncap the frames you placed out to have the bees clean them up? Plastic or wax foundation?
    Frank

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    I had the same problem but a greater number. I was going to store them and feed in the fall, but they began to smell like fermentation. I simply threw a number of them away which I have never done before but I have switched to single brood chambers and wont need them. Some were moldy looking. I had several supers that I had left on for the winter and they were partially filled with honey. I don't have the capacity to freeze them so I have bagged some and if they were moldy or filled with drone comb I threw a few out. If I have to do it again I will buy another large freezer and freeze them and feed back in the fall.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Fenton, MI
    Posts
    379

    Default Re: What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    Plastic. I scored most with a knife. Not all.
    The question is what to do, and the answer, as always, is complicated by a muddle of reason, emotion, and doubt.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,727

    Default Re: What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    >I could extract the honey, but I'm not real interested in doing so. Dark comb, crystalized honey = work and not great looking honey.

    Oftentimes you gotta do what you gotta do.....even if not real interested in doing so.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,545

    Default Re: What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    The value is in the drawn comb; it hurts to lose that. As far as the feed value simple sugar syrup is an easy proposition to give them. I tried warming up boxes of overwintered honey but still had blow outs when trying to extract. If I had a bunch to do, I think I would try to create a way to keep them at an elevated temperature for a number of days; not so hot and no hot spots so the comb stays together but enough to liquify the honey so it will extract.

    I am meditating on whether it is worth the trouble!
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: What to do with last winter's 5 deadout hives honey frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackam View Post
    .......

    Feeding back to the bees: I had one deadout last year and re-used the empty bottom deep. Like this year, the top deep was heavy. I placed it 75 yards from one set of hives for the bees to rob. Honestly, I was not impressed with their work. Those frames were a mess still at the end of the season.

    I could extract the honey, but I'm not real interested in doing so. Dark comb, crystalized honey = work and not great looking honey.

    Thoughts?
    Feeding to the bees works well, IF done differently from the above.
    1)scrape/decap however you do (heat gun is great)
    2)spray the frame heavily with water; if water is dripping all over - great (it shows there is enough handy water to dissolve any thick/hard honey by the bees)
    3)insert into the target colony (best - insert outside of a follower board so they have motivation to move it inside; or put the frame horizontally over the frames - same logic)
    4)in few days, inspect - IF any honey still left - repeat.

    I would take ALL of your honey for my nucs if I could.
    I don't care how thick/hard it is - they will eat it all.
    Washing out the already made honey - waste of time and valuable resource.
    If you get into the time-consuming comb washing business, just as well have the bees do it for you.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Ukrainian frame experimentation.

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