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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I harvested my first honey in time to pass out to sceptical relatives on Mother's Day.:p My second year hive went from a laying worker and almost no bees last summer to a booming three 8-frame deep this spring. Hope this inspires all newbees who think they are failing -- I was you last year at this time.

The bees are currently producing three frames of sealed honey per week that I take from the super and replace with empty frames. I am located in NC, and I feed year round; they will take syrup well into November. How do you know when to stop harvesting honey? I want to leave them enough to keep them happy through the fall and winter.

As always, the advice I get from this forum is appreciated. You have provided information and encouragement that is invaluable.

Debbie
 

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If you are feeding while there is a flow on and you have your surplus honey supers on, your bees are putting the sugar syrup into those frames that you are taking. You need to stop feeding the syrup when you put on the supers that you hope to harvest.

Without the sugar syrup on, you will notice when the nectar stops coming in and they are not capping any more cells. If they have syrup, they will continue to put it away and cap it when it is "ripe". Ask the beeks in your area but it's probably by about the 4th of july in your area. There may be a fall flow that could be harvested if the bees have enough stores or it could be left for their winter provisions.

Maybe I made a bad assumption when you said you feed "year round" but if your honey is very light then the bees are giving you back the syrup you gave them with a little nectar mixed in.
 

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Hey he could work foe sue bee! Ok ok, dont delete me for the jibe.

Seriously its about june for the wildflower stuff. Later if youre in a place with sourwood, unless you're smart and rotate out some comb supers for pure sour wood. I expect another super from soy this summer, and maybe a little from goldenrod this fall. And then a couple, hopefully on brazillian pepper down in Fl.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Carl:

You are probably correct. The big hive is still taking syrup, although I have reduced drastically the amount I give them due to abundant supplies of plant nectar. I will taper them off and observe for quality of honey. The light honey I harvested certainly tastes good with pronounced "honey flavor." I started a second hive with a package a month ago. They drew out eight frames so I added a second box. Interestingly they are not taking syrup, though they are actively flying. I assume they are able to locate the feeder (above the second hive body) and are just making due with nectar and pollen.

Thanks for the advice --

Debbie
 

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I agree that you should not be harvesting honey when you are feeding syrup. For sure you should not sell any honey in that situation. A big no no. Feed in the Spring if necessary but stop when you put the supers on that you will harvest from. Around here, most beekeepers harvest July or August.
 
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