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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a first year beekeeper ready to do my first honey harvest. I am in Western KY, and have a hive with 2 deep brood boxes, and 3 medium supers(2 are full the 3rd is about 50%) The plan is to harvest the 2 full supers and leave the 3rd on for the bees for summer. Any reason I should leave more on the hive? They have worked hard all spring, I definitely do not want to take too much. Also, what is the best way to remove the boxes/frames? I have seen the bee escapes, but do not have one. Can you just remove the frames on by ones and shake/brush off the bees?
 

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I have not taken any honey yet either. I'm planning on using the bee escapes when I do, seems the best way to me when your only dealing with a few hives. My instructor has many more hives than I do and she takes off the supers lays them on their side about 10 yards away and uses a leaf blower to blow the bees back towards their hive. Seems a little harsh to me but when dealing with a large number of hives I guess time and and ease are very valuable.
 

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Any reason I should leave more on the hive?
I always advise to err on the side of caution. How much honey is in the double deeps? How many bees? As the nectar flow ends all of those bees become consumers. Why not harvest one super and leave a super and a half? Then, at the onset of winter reevaluate and if they have more than enough for winter, harvest again. There's very little sadder than a hive that starves.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I took the plunge. I harvested 15 frames, and left the bees with one full medium super and the other half full but fully drawn out. They also have honey stored in the brood box. It was quite an experience. Luckily the bees knew what they were doing, because I sure didn't! I removed the top super and replaced it with a medium super with frames and foundation, then I removed each capped frame and shook/brushed the bees down into the new box. They took it surprisingly well. I then took the empty hive body( it had several clusters of bees working on stray honey) and placed it at the front entrance. Within 1 hour all of the bees had gone back into the hive. All in all I think it went pretty well. And the honey is awesome! I had two frames that I put in with no foundation, and they had them fully drawn out and full. The weight was too much to extract, but I was able to make several blocks of comb honey- also very delicious! Thanks for all of your input
 

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Harvested my first comb honey this week. Bees have been filling supers fast at my house. Great honey and looking forward to getting my extractor in sonny to harvest the non comb supers.
 
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