In a Bind
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Thread: In a Bind

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Lake County, Illinois
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    Default In a Bind

    Unfortunately I will be having serious surgery in 1 1/2 weeks. I will not be able to pull about 10 supers however they are not full and what ever honey is there is mostly uncapped.I have a friend who will pull them and place them in my garage and cover them or I can just leave them on until about the end of november when I should be able to do some work. Is it best to leave them on for a couple of months or take them off and store them?
    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: In a Bind

    Planner, I would leave them on the hives. As long as the colonies stay strong and healthy, they bees do a better job than we do of keeping the comb nice. And, you may find the supers full and capped later this season after goldenrod is done.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
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    553

    Default Re: In a Bind

    I have also heard some people leave the supers on for the winter and extract in the spring. The theory is the bees will then have plenty of stores for the winter and everything left in the spring is excess that can be harvested. I do not do this and have not looked into it in detail so I do not know if there are any disadvantages to this method. It may be worth taking some time to research.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: In a Bind

    Just make sure there are no queen excluders left in the stack or Queenie could get abandoned below as bees move up.
    Frank

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    1,937

    Thumbs Up Re: In a Bind

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Planner, I would leave them on the hives. As long as the colonies stay strong and healthy, they bees do a better job than we do of keeping the comb nice. And, you may find the supers full and capped later this season after goldenrod is done.
    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Just make sure there are no queen excluders left in the stack or Queenie could get abandoned below as bees move up.
    I like the advice above. Stacking supers in my location without precautions would surely result in wax moth and small hive beetle damage, (meaning, loss of the honeycombs and honey from infestation of either moths or beetles). Leaving supers on hives allows bees to patrol for pests on warm days over winter. In this case, doing nothing may be the best thing you can do.
    ...We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are...

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,485

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Yup leave em on. Hope everything goes well for you!
    Rod

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    2,138

    Default Re: In a Bind

    I am in a similar situation, (although not as serious and as long) and came to the conclusion that leaving them on is the better option. You might want to consider closing upper entrances and reducing lower and having robber screens in place. At least that is what I am doing. Best of luck on your surgery. J

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,037

    Default Re: In a Bind

    If you are hoping to eat the honey, leaving the boxes of mostly uncapped honey, stacked in your garage untill November, would be a very bad plan indeed.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Re: In a Bind

    I think I will leave the uncapped supers on for the winter as I have a serious health issue. My friends and I took off the supers that had some partially capped honey and capped honey.I experimented and extracted those frames until we had one 5 gallon bucket. It had a moisture content of 19.3. I placed it in a small room with a dehumidifier and within a few hours it reduced to 19.1. I will do the same all day today and based on experience it should reduce to 18.6 or lower.At that time I will pour it into a heated bottling tank and let it sit for a few days. For some reason the heat reduces moisture by a small amount. Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    If you are hoping to eat the honey, leaving the boxes of mostly uncapped honey, stacked in your garage untill November, would be a very bad plan indeed.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,446

    Default Re: In a Bind

    In a high humidity area such as mine, the more surface area the bees have to store nectar, the easier it is for them to dry it down. At the end of the season when no nectar is coming in, what looked like an almost full frame of honey ends up being a half frame of capped honey. If given time they will consolidate all the nectar on the frames into capped honey before Winter arrives. You could extract at that time if the timing of your surgery would allow.
    The supers should be fine over Winter, but I would remove them before Spring build-up or the Queen will lay in them. For my area that can be as early as Feb.

    I have also stored frames of partially uncapped nectar in the freezer over Winter. After thawing in the Spring, the nectar was thicker than when it went into the freezer. I put them back on the hives as needed.

    I hope your recovery goes well.

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

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
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    131

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Alex
    Thanks for the kind words. Means alot at a difficult time.
    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    In a high humidity area such as mine, the more surface area the bees have to store nectar, the easier it is for them to dry it down. At the end of the season when no nectar is coming in, what looked like an almost full frame of honey ends up being a half frame of capped honey. If given time they will consolidate all the nectar on the frames into capped honey before Winter arrives. You could extract at that time if the timing of your surgery would allow.
    The supers should be fine over Winter, but I would remove them before Spring build-up or the Queen will lay in them. For my area that can be as early as Feb.

    I have also stored frames of partially uncapped nectar in the freezer over Winter. After thawing in the Spring, the nectar was thicker than when it went into the freezer. I put them back on the hives as needed.

    I hope your recovery goes well.

    Alex

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    563

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Planner, I would leave them on the hives. As long as the colonies stay strong and healthy, they bees do a better job than we do of keeping the comb nice. And, you may find the supers full and capped later this season after goldenrod is done.
    Concur, I would leave the supers with the bee till you can take them in Nov. in the garage is opportunity for problems.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Friend help me extract many supers and the remainder will be left in until spring as I have no other choice. The wet frames from extraction will have to remain in my garage. I can vent them so air goes thru the stack of about 10. Is there anything else I. An do with the wet supers that were extracted?
    Thank

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
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    563

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Can your friend add an empty medium to a hive, then stack them onto a hive or 2 that may be a bit low on stores to clean out. then go back in 8 days or so and place them in your garage "sealed" on a top cover with top cover on them? that would get them dried out and stored.

    GG

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    3,597

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Hive beetles love unextracted or wet supers not on a hive.....I would leave the extracted wet supers out for the bees to rob and then store them, your supers are safe, your bees are better stored for winter. In my 2nd year of beekeeping, 1994, I had surgery that laid me up for about 8 weeks with another few months of recovery. The body has an amazing gift for healing but.....it takes time and at it's own pace....it is hard to surrender to a health issue but once you have you will be on a better pace for healing. Whatever happens there will always be more bees to come.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Lake County, Illinois
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: In a Bind

    Joel
    Thanks for the inspiring note. I am 79 and and have an early stage of cancer and after surgery will probably undergo chemo. I have thought of giving up beekeeping, but I am told my prognosis is good, and I should be around for quite a few years. I purchased nucs every year so based on your thoughts I can just as well purchase next year. Thanks again for your note it was very helpful.I will try and leave the supers out but when I did this a month ago with some older deeps the racoons dimolished them in a couple of days. They were able to pul the frames out one by one from the deeps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Hive beetles love unextracted or wet supers not on a hive.....I would leave the extracted wet supers out for the bees to rob and then store them, your supers are safe, your bees are better stored for winter. In my 2nd year of beekeeping, 1994, I had surgery that laid me up for about 8 weeks with another few months of recovery. The body has an amazing gift for healing but.....it takes time and at it's own pace....it is hard to surrender to a health issue but once you have you will be on a better pace for healing. Whatever happens there will always be more bees to come.

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