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Hi Beek friends!

I am a first year beekeeping in northeast Ohio. Since the spring, my bees have filled two lower deeps and a medium super with honey, pollen, brood.. everything they need to get through the winter. Late in the summer I added a shallow super to see if they could fill a box up for me to take. They have come close; but now I need to prepare for winter (like, ASAP) and want to take the super off so I can medicate them for vm but I don't know how to proceed with the top super full of nectar. There is only some capped honey; it's mostly nectar... do I just leave it for them? Do I take it and call it a wash? And if I did take it, what would I even do with it?

I really don't know what to do here, so any input would be very helpful! Thank you!

Laura
 

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If your hive is heavy enough without it, you can take it off. Harvest the capped frames, and as Aroc said abve, freeze the nectar frames for reuse early next spring. (Some of what looks like nectar may be nearly honey and you can dry it down a a bit and harvest it, too.) Freezing is to preserve nectar which might ferment a room temps and also to kill any eggs (or adults or larvae) of small hive beetles and wax moths. Killing the bugs will only take a short period in a deep freeze. Protecting the nectar from spoilage is a long-term proposition, though if you can find a secure (from mice) place to store the frames in a very cool/cold place forthe winter that works, too.

Getting bees out of the box is easiest by using a bee escape board under it (make sure you have it correctly oriented so they can escape down into the hive.)

But, and this is a big caveat, they may have assumed that the late-added box would be staying there for the winter so they filled it with fall-gathered stores they planned - and need - to use for wintering. Bees tend to cap over their uppermost box(es) and kind of fill their way downwards in the fall. So you have to make sure that they do have enough stores below, not just drawn but mostly empty comb. If the combs below need filling you can do that with aggressive feeding of 2:1 sugar syrup, starting immediately after you take the shallow off. It is a bit late for feeding, so I would hold the shallow, without extracting until you see that the honey you have taken has been replaced by syrup in the frames below. If it gets cold too quickly (and bees won't take syrup readily below 50F), you can give them their box back for the winter. Make sure that if you were using a queen excluder under the shallow box that it is off the hive before winter.

It sounds like your bees have done well this summer. Don't delay treating for varroa if you haven't done so already.

Enj.
 
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