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Harvesting leftover honey from the winter?

1040 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  crofter
Last summer was our first summer keeping bees. We were told to leave the honey from the first summer for the bees to eat over their first winter, so that’s exactly what we did. One of our two hives survived.

Yesterday we did a hive inspection of the living hive and they are bursting at the seems! They were building in between the frames and cramming every nook and cranny they could find, according to my husband.

We added another super on top to give them space, but now I’m wondering if we should harvest the honey leftover from the winter so they have more room to keep building over the summer? This is our huge, over active, very productive wild swarm we caught last year. They’re such hard workers. We’re so proud of them.
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If you added a box of foundation they may not recognize it as more room. If you have any drawn comb from from your dead hive I would add it to the new box. Or move a couple of frames from the lower box up and replace them in the lower box with drawn comb if available giving the Queen room to lay.

We don't know where your bees are located, but in my area brood rearing begins in Jan/Feb. My hives can be very heavy at that point and very light by the end of March. Brood rearing can deplete their stored honey rapidly. You wouldn't want to starve them now.
You may want to make a split when the time is right. You could use the extra honey in them if there is still too much. Splitting will also help you to keep those hard working bees from swarming.

Good luck.
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