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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I harvest multiple times per year to keep a constant supply of honey for my customers and to enjoy the color change. I would like to go to just once or twice (for labor reasons solely). My question is do the bees store more honey if you stack supers? and why/why not?
I have noticed when the bees swarm shortly after they seem 'defeated' like those that are left are sad the others left (with alot of their honey also). I was wondering if this was my imagination or holds some validity also and if this is the case why harvesting once or twice would make more sense also.
 

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Many beekeepers will keep stacking supers on as needed and do 1 extraction at the end of the season. Some beekeepers say you will have a larger crop if you do multiple extractions and place the empty wet supers back on again.
 

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If you're out of equipment it makes sense to harvest and put the supers back on. The only real issue to harvesting multiple times is the cleanup afterwards. You have to process it or you'll get wax moths and SHB in it. After you harvest it you have to clean up the mess (sticky extractors, buckets etc.) and that is a big chore to do mulitple times if there isn't a good reason.
 

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The other issue is the bees have to defend the honey supers from ants, small hive beetles and others that like honey too. The hive has to climate control all the honey supers - heat and humidity. All this protection and control requires resources and energy.
 

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If you plan to wait and extract everything at the end of summer, you may come back and find the bees ate all the honey during a dearth.
 

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I am actually going to forgo my 2nd extraction and distribute it out to the weaker splits.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info, so what i gather is that multiple extractions may actually be better for the harvest (hive regulation and pests) if its not too much work. I guess I'll keep on doing what I'm doing then.
 
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