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Discussion Starter #1
An experienced beekeeper I know does this. She takes all honey on July 4 except leaves them one full medium super of honey each, just in case. I thought that made the guessing game of how much to take in the fall a little easier (since you wouldn't be taking in the fall). Thoughts?

P.S. - We're northeastern.
 

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I will probably extract on the 4th, my spring flow is usually over by then, I will leave the bees with 1 deep of honey for winter stores and the fall flow is theirs to top off the hive for the coming winter. :)
 

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I've always taken mine July 4th. Last year I should have waited until August as the mesquites had a long bloom. This year I am going by the Mesquites and not the date. I take it all. We have a good enough fall flow for them to store for winter. My fall honey is bitter and I don't take any.
 

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I'm a little South of you in NE Pennsylvania, so I wait until the 3rd week of July. Last year we had a late Spring, so I waited until the last week of July. The goldenrod/aster flow is from mid-August until frost, so they have plenty to fill a super for Winter. In mid to late September, I'll check on their stores. If they are low, I'll add sugar water. All of my hives get at least one top feeder full of sugar water with Fumigilin and HBH before Winter.
 

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I do my 2nd harvest the 1st weekend of July here in NGa. My bees don't make enough for a fall harvest.
 

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That should work, although with this late spring a week or two added might be prudent. If you have Japanese knotwood or bamboo in your area you will be amazed at how fast and how late they can lay on the winter stores, along with the steady aster and goldenrod. B
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good then, sounds like it's common to take around July 4th. I'm going to try it this year, without feeling guilty, and leave them a medium of honey. If there is any to take, that is.

P.S. - I heard that fall aster honey gives them dysentery over the winter. Anyone else ever hear that?
 

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P.S. - I heard that fall aster honey gives them dysentery over the winter. Anyone else ever hear that?
I have heard this as well but never get concerned about it, I rarely ever see a honeybee on an Aster, there are other fall plants that are far more appealing to the bees.
 

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Here where I live the Asters do outlast the Goldenrod, they seem to thrive in hot humid weather.
 

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Unless one fed their hives quite well and right up until the nectar flow how much honey could there be in hives in New England? Round these parts harvest time doesn't start until some time in August.
 

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Mark,

I agree, i usually start harvesting honey the last week of July, or first week of august. This year though, I already have hives with boxes full of honey and supers just went on this week to catch the black locust bloom, which is late. We have had a good spring for nectar flow so far. I would expect that this year I will get a rare spring harvest, but that isnt the norm here. We will also have clovers and tulip poplar blooming before our basswood blooms.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Unless one fed their hives quite well and right up until the nectar flow how much honey could there be in hives in New England? Round these parts harvest time doesn't start until some time in August.
No feeding! One of the points is to get unadulterated honey, not mixed with cane sugar. I think that's why this beekeeper harvests in July - because the bees have not been fed since winter, and then to leave them a cushion of fall honey for next year's winter. I know she isn't in beekeeping for the honey tho - she uses and sells what she gets from the hives, but she's more interested in beekeeping as a whole, honey is just a plus. Which is how I look at it too.

I know dandelions are very heavy around here the whole month of May, but I've heard dandelion honey isn't the cat's meow, and I don't know enough about blooms to know what comes next. Wildflowers? That's a good generic guess...
 

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Don't take this as being argumentative, but I would think that taking honey off later, say August 4 rather than July 4, would help one make sure that their honey was unadulterated, if one fed last Fall. But if one doesn't feed at all then fear of adulteration shouldn't be a problem. Seems to me.
 
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