What to do with deadout honey?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
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    31

    Default What to do with deadout honey?

    I've got a dead out with a bunch of honey left. If I buy a package of bees this spring could I just drop a couple frames of this honey in there instead of feeding sugar water?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,560

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    That would be the best, honey trumps sugar water. If your putting them on empty comb and the queen starts laying right away they’ll burn thru it PDQ.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
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    1,574

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    I am assuming your goals are (1) for the new package to build comb rapidly and (2) to stimulate the queen into laying quickly for a good spring start up.

    You can certainly put the frames of honey in the new hive with the package, but I would not do that in lieu of sugar syrup. A light 1:1 ratio of sugar syrup will stimulate the queen to lay (mocks a nectar flow) and is easily digested by the workers for optimum wax production.

    Capped honey has about a 5:1 ratio of sugar to water. The bees will have to dilute the honey with lots of water in order to consume it from the honey frame you put into your hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,252

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    Good points above. Also make sure you know why the colony died. J

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    I definitely prefer capped honey to syrup for packages. Much more convenient! Would want to make sure there was no afb in the deadout

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    Thanks for the responses. That makes sense that sugar water would get the queen going more than capped honey. My best guess on why they died was varroa. I did OAV in the fall. 5 treatments 4 days apart. They were really strong going into winter. There were a fair amount of dead bees in the hive along with the queen. The brood looked fine but I did order a AFB testing kit and everything came back fine there. I've been freezing all the frames just in case.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by rtaylor View Post
    Thanks for the responses. That makes sense that sugar water would get the queen going more than capped honey. My best guess on why they died was varroa. I did OAV in the fall. 5 treatments 4 days apart. They were really strong going into winter. There were a fair amount of dead bees in the hive along with the queen. The brood looked fine but I did order a AFB testing kit and everything came back fine there. I've been freezing all the frames just in case.
    Yes to your original question. I will put a swarm or a package on some comb with Pollen and some honey to get them started. Not completely understanding leaving the honey and making light Syrup. Several years ago, I received packages early, 6 of them. we still had snow, appx 16 inches on the ground. I hauled the packages in with a sled, to my bee area. Gave each 8 frames of comb, consisting of 2 honey 1 pollen and the rest mostly open.
    in 2 weeks the snow melted, A week after that, I was able to take time to go look. All 6 had 3-5 frames with bees and brood and they picked up a took off from there. IMO depending on how many packages you get and how many dead out frames of comb you have I would not be afraid to give a package a full box of comb. Arrange them with the honey on the outside 2 frames, (1 and 10) less honey some pollen on the next 2 (2 and 9) and emptiest ones in the middle. (for a 10 frame box example) Agree, with above messages, do have a look for EFB, but if Mites got the current hive, and you freeze them for a week or 2 the frames should be fine.
    GG

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    woodland, wa usa
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    rt,
    Just saying. When I give honey to a hive with my intention they use it rather than ignore it, I make a point to uncap it for them. I have found during a reasonable flow, they may have a tendency to leave capped honey alone, and simply use the nectar they are hauling in.

    For making brood, they need protein.

    Energy and wax squeezing is from the carbs.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    When I have a dead out I freeze the frames and put them in for the next nuc/package. However I always harvest a frame or two so that I can compare the honey from one season to the next, hoding on to one jar from each season for tastings. It's fascinating how the taste varies. In a way it keeps their memory alive too

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    Sugar water! Honey is a carrier of disease. I will only feed it to a colony it came from as part of my hygienics efforts. I also wash, freeze and put frames out into the sun. Thinking of a new step - glacial acetic acid treatment.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: What to do with deadout honey?

    Quote Originally Posted by anonymousbrunette View Post
    When I have a dead out I freeze the frames and put them in for the next nuc/package. However I always harvest a frame or two so that I can compare the honey from one season to the next, hoding on to one jar from each season for tastings. It's fascinating how the taste varies. In a way it keeps their memory alive too
    It does differ, even the same hive in the same spot will differ, it is odd. first super and third super also have different taste.

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