Bees Uncapping Honey Super?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Bees Uncapping Honey Super?

    I was checking on one of my hives to see if the honey super was ready to be taken off and harvested. Last I checked, which was about 2 weeks ago, they had about 50% of each frame capped. This time, it seems like they uncapped a little bit of it, without capping anymore. I gave one frame a good flick, to see if the nectar would come out, and it didn’t. So I know the moisture content is pretty low (from what I’ve read on the internet). I put a bee escape under the honey super. My question is will it be alright if I harvest it uncapped, with the moisture content seeming close to being ideal. I feel like if I wait any longer, it’s going to be too late (I read that mid September is the latest you should be harvesting).
    A bee that won't stop eating will eventually become a little chub-bee

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Huntington Woods, MI
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Bees Uncapping Honey Super?

    Your honey must be lower than 18.5% water or it will ferment (in a bad way). I use a refractometer (about $50) & check each uncapped frame before I harvest. You can certainly wait until spring & harvest then. If you do that, the bees will eat what they need during the winter & you can take most of the rest of the honey in the spring as long as a flow is on.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    952

    Default Re: Bees Uncapping Honey Super?

    I suspect that the nectar flow in your area has stopped and they are starting to eat the honey in the super. How much honey is there lower in the hive?
    3 Hives, Started in 2017, Learning as I go
    My data logger

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,930

    Default Re: Bees Uncapping Honey Super?

    I am big on taking $5 honey and replacing it in the hive bodies with fifty cent sugar. It is time maybe unless you have an aster and goldenrod flow in your area. If you do, you may want to extract and put on the wet supers and hope for a fall crop. Consider the value of any fall crop and the cost of replacing bees because you did not kill mites before winter bees were being raised. Granted, I do not have your high humidity to deal with but an awful lot of uncapped honey is extracted and stores just fine. Watch how it runs when you gouge a frame with a hive tool. If it runs like honey it probably is. If it is pretty fast flowing it may not be.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elmer_fud View Post
    How much honey is there lower in the hive?
    I have 3 mediums for the brood nest. Last I checked, which was probably a month ago, they had the top box full of honey, middle one mostly honey, and bottom mostly brood.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    It is time maybe unless you have an aster and goldenrod flow in your area. Consider the value of any fall crop and the cost of replacing bees because you did not kill mites before winter bees were being raised.
    I have some goldenrod in my ditch and a few other areas, also some other kind of yellow flower in bloom. How come I can’t kill mites after winter bees have been raised? I planned on doing an oxalic acid vaporization on them in October. I read the mites should be reduced by 95% at that time, since there isn’t much brood for them to hide in because of winter prep.
    A bee that won't stop eating will eventually become a little chub-bee

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,930

    Default Re: Bees Uncapping Honey Super?

    Because your winter bees will be damaged by being parasitized and infected with the nasty virus spread by mites. Good luck what ever you decide. Your bees in your location. My decision is easier as I do not get a fall flow, too dry. When it wasn't too dry and I took that little fall crop I regretted it.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Iowa, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Because your winter bees will be damaged by being parasitized and infected with the nasty virus spread by mites.
    Yeah, but every hive goes into winter with some mites, so I’m not sure I’m following you. This OA vaporization is supposed to be one of the best mite treatments, so I don’t see how waiting to kill 95% of the mites would hurt them?
    A bee that won't stop eating will eventually become a little chub-bee

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,600

    Default Re: Bees Uncapping Honey Super?

    an oldie but goodie

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/fat-bees-part-1/

    Vitellogenin and varroa

    Aren’t you wondering when I’m going to mention the varroa mite? Well, Dr. Amdam (2004b) thought of that too! “Compared with noninfested workers, adult bees infested as pupae do not fully develop physiological features typical of long-lived wintering bees. Management procedures designed to kill V. destructor in late autumn may thus fail to prevent losses of colonies because many of the adult bees are no longer able to survive until spring. Beekeepers in temperate climates should therefore combine late autumn management strategies with treatment protocols that keep the mite population at low levels before and during the period when the winter bees emerge.” Hence, the critical August 15th date to get varroa levels down. Mite-hammered bees can’t put on enough vitelligenin to make it through the winter, and then rear the first round(s) of brood in early spring
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Canandaigua, New York, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default

    Have you performed an alcohol wash to see where you are at? Betcha a nuc you will be buying bees in the spring.

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