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Best time of year to rob , all at once or 1 frame at a time

3382 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Ian
Could you fellow bee keepers give me your opinions on your favorite ways and times of year on robbing your hives. I've been trying to rob frame by frame as they cap it through the year but the time that is involved is pilling up, and I'm always afraid of killing the queen. Any of your ideas would be great.
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I like to think that I am harvesting rather than robbing. It's not just semantics in my opinion. I am harvesting the honey the bees make above and beyond what they need to get through the winter. For me, that means any honey above the third brood box. If I were to take frames of honey from the brood boxes (which it sounds like you are doing since you are concerned about accidentally killing the queen,) then I would call that robbing since I would be taking the very food the bees are storing and rely upon to get them through the winter.

When I was in Maine, I generally harvested full supers of honey all at once in the fall. Here in PA, I'm thinking I might get two harvests, all full honey supers, not frame by frame. To much work to extract & clean up.

We usually extract about now, and then in August if there is another surplus. Usually soybeans and goldenrod then, I think.

At any rate, although I will pull the full frames from a partially filled super, generally it's by the super. We shake the frames off and then brush off any bees that stay put, and put the frames into a closed box to transport to my brother's garage where we extract. We only do one round, never just a couple frames at a time. Way too much work for a couple pounds of honey.

This year the bees filled three supers in a few weeks, and have still been flying quite a bit. I'll look tomorrow, but I've got quite the honey crop so far.

Remember the honey is yours! You provide feral insects a place to live and they produce it for your use. Take honey when you want it. Out of self interest I never intentionally take honey that the bees need to live on. If I happen to take more than I should have, I just feed the bees granulated sugar to replace it and insure their survival to another productive season.

If I am out of honey, I will take a choice full capped frame in the spring and enjoy the wonderful aroma of the fruit blooms mixed with dandelion. Coming soon to a hive near me will be the water white ambrosia from alfalfa and the pollen loaded darker yellow sweet clover honey. Take some from each floral source as they occur. A wonderful bounty and riches only available to the beekeeper and his closest friends. The richest man on earth can only have it if beekeepers choose to share!

Get your mind right! It is your honey you are not stealing.
Although I suspect as all others have assumed that the original poster (OP) is referring to frames of Honey. Has it Occurred to anyone else that OP may be referring to brood for splits or to support queenless hives.

And what if the Op does not have supers to remove for extraction.

What are you taking capped brood or Honey? What type of hive do you have? it does make a difference in the answer.
Are you robbing honey from the brood boxes that you're bees might need for winter?
I would assume you're bees need almost a full box depending on what part of VA you're in.

Some years we harvest once some years 3 times, by removing full honey supers from above the queen excluder.
I see no mention of brood in his post only a geographic reference to the Brood Boxes. The question was about honey for his own use.
I never take honey from the brood chamber except to give to another hive or use in in a split or something. Never for me.

I most often harvest supers between Labor Day and the middle of September. Once in a great while I'll collect surplus honey in late spring - I harvest supers then once the flow is over and the honey capped.
I think that everyone has taken this wrong due to my lack of proper writing , I was not the best in my English class.

My question is this which I should have written first off , I had read somewhere , maybe by mike bush or some other writing that they will wait until late fall after all brood that is in our supers have hatched and are now mainly down in the hive bodies which I "do not touch" for extraction unless it is a dead out. By doing this I should have less bees to cope with and only having to extract only ounce rather than doing it as I have been , which is {harvesting} 1 frame at a time as they become capped and then waiting until we have a large number of frames to extract. I'm just trying to find the best/easiest way for my family and of course myself.
Mountainboomer, the early honey tends to be different than the late honey. You could rob some now and replace the supers and hope for Sourwood, that would make it worthwhile.
take whatever you can reasonably get away with. Be prepared to feed sugar back if your on coming flows dont materialize
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