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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost all my colonies have several frames deep frames solid with honey it’s becoming an issue (I think). Would it be smart to shake the frames out onto a board and let the bees rob them out in hopes they’ll move the honey up through the excluder and return these frames back to the nest or is there an issue I don’t see with this plan.
 

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So, I have questions:
What's going on above the excluder? Sometimes your queen excluder will become a "honey excluder" if the workers don't like to pass through it. If nothing is happening above, maybe take the excluder out. You can always put it back later. It certainly sounds like you don't need it now.

How many deep boxes are you using? (1 or 2); and -
Where are these full of honey frames located in the box? If the cluster is significantly smaller than the available brood chamber, they may just fill excess comb with food stores. If these honey-bound frames are from the sides of the box, I would leave them be.

How is the queen doing with the space she is using? Good laying pattern, lots of bees, no signs of swarming? tell us more.

Cheers,
 

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What your main concern may be is over feeding. Consider moving the full frames into a hive body and setting it on a bottom board and placing a strong hive on top of it. Give the bees above foundation to draw and hopefully the night shift will move the contents of the full frames above the brood where they like to have it.

I remember parroting the line about honey excluders. The queen excluder is a tool and when used properly and understanding the bees inclinations, I do not believe they harm honey production at all. As long as the bees have an incentive to pass thru them, they do so just fine. My incentive is normally wet brood. The bees will start working above the excluder to tend the babies and fix the brood nest by building comb around the single frame and then they are just busy and the excluder doesn't matter to them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have 20 producing colonies I run single deep brood chambers then everything else above an excluder. I have some hives with close to 150lbs of honey above the excluder the flow is just so strong right now with the tallow I want to try to free up space below the excluder and prevent swarming. I think we have have another month of good flow or close to before a summer dearth. I also have about three queen less colonies that just have everything packed with honey and I’d like to clean out some deep frames so when I requeen she has room. At this point I’m out of empty drawn comb comb.
 

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if the flow is that strong i would consider removing some honey bound frames and putting them in the freezer for safe keeping and later use, replacing them with empty frames for the bees to draw some new comb on. or you could extract the honey from them and put them back out.

sounds like you've got some good bees on a good spot, congrats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would extract but they’ve only just started capping it I was concerned about moisture content being to high.
 

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i think you will find that honey they are in the process of capping is cured all the way.

if you remove a frame, turn it flat toward the ground, give it a hard shake, and not any or just a few drops of nectar come out go ahead.

a litte bit of uncured nectar mixes with the rest on extraction anyway and the batch doesn't know much difference.

a refractometer is your best bet. even 100% capped can be 'wet' if the relative humidity outside is running high.

i bring my honey in and 'dry' it inside with a fan and dehumidifier for a day or two before extracting.
 

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I guess I would move the frames of capped honey above the excluder and put foundation if necessary in their place. I know of one commercial who as a practice moves frames of brood above the excluder to reduce crowding in the single chamber brood nest. But I think he is a workaholic, I respect that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think ultimately that’s kind of what I’ll do all honey loaded deep frames I’ll put into box and replace with foundation. I need drawn comb anyways. Then in two weeks when I have the time I’ll extract what I can and free up more space.
 
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