Adding capped honey error
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Adding capped honey error

    Today I was getting my hives prepped for winter and upcoming OAV treatments. I had Hive A from a summer split that had built up and nicely filled up a 10-frame deep with larvae, capped brood and capped honey and hive B which was the original booming colony that was still doing really well with a few extra mediums of capped honey to spare. The large hive (B) has plenty of capped honey left on it even after removing some supers, so instead of harvesting the capped honey I figured I would take the extra honey from hive B and give it to hive A. I figured this would be a better way to get winter stores for the smaller hive by giving them capped honey instead of feeding syrup. However, I thought that if I added a full box of capped honey without bees to that small hive (A) then there wouldn't be enough bees to cover the frames and protect them, so I figured I would leave the bees in the box instead of clearing them out.

    This is where the errors/concerns arise...I took the box of capped honey off and checked for a queen (the super was above a queen excluded but I figured I would double check). There was no queen in this box so I took it over to Hive A and placed it on that hive. I should have used newspaper in between the boxes, but I didn't. I just put the box right on that hive and closed it up. What sort of mess did I create and what should I expect to see when I check on it the next time????

    I did put some leaves and branches on the reduced entrance so those new bees would re-orient to their new location but I am concerned that I have created a big mess. Any input is appreciated. Man....

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Yuba County, California, USA
    Posts
    6,557

    Default Re: Adding capped honey error

    I've done it with no newspaper and it worked out just fine, but I did it in spring/early summer, never this time of year at the beginning of fall. I never used newspaper, and did not put obstructions in front of the entrance. Hopefully it works as well for you as it has for me, the very few times I've done it.

    My reasoning goes like this...
    The bees above an excluder are working in the honey storage area of the hive, and do not participate in the brood nest activities of the hive like nurse bees and house bees do. They are somewhat of a separate set of bees and do not go through the politics of the brood nest area near the hive entrance. My thinking is that they won't go through the security checking that other bees coming in do, and they are coming in with a full super of stores that they are managing. I figure it should be seen as a good benefit to the accepting hive and pass all judgement.
    Last edited by RayMarler; 09-29-2019 at 01:46 AM. Reason: added paragraph
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: Adding capped honey error

    You can move frames and bees around during a flow but during robbing season bees don't get along.I would have used newspaper.
    You will find out if you see a pile of dead bees outside the entrance

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,604

    Default Re: Adding capped honey error

    Should be alright, but check next week and make sure you still find some eggs confirming that the queen is ok.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Adding capped honey error

    Thanks, that gives me some hope. Today it is raining and keeping the bees inside the hive for now, but is supposed to let up this afternoon. I will take a look at the entrance board and the ground and see what it might tell me. How many days should I wait until I open the hive to check on them?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default

    They’ll work it out. No worries.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Adding capped honey error

    I've done combines of a queenless colony with a queenright one, without newspaper, and it all worked out fine. Not recommended, as it may not work out, but it has for me so far (several occassions).

    I am guessing yours will be fine.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Adding capped honey error

    Today once the rain stopped I observed the hive entrance and there was no dead bees on the landing board or the ground around the hive, so that is a good sign. There were lots of bees coming and going and it looked fairly peaceful and I saw some pollen coming in so hopefully they have it squared away. Thanks for the peace of mind you offered!

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