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I am in a strange situation. I have two strong hives now after helping the weaker one with some brood. I stopped feeding them a few weeks ago because they have filled the top deep with nectar. I also added a honey super to the strongest of the two hives becasue I felt they needed more room. I did not have another deep so I used what I had. I was not expecting them to fill the honey super but this weekend I did an inspection and and it is 3/4 full of honey. It is beautiful. I was not expecting much honey my first year but if they can fill that super in the conditions we are currently in how many can they fill when the flow is back on? I guess they are on the clover that is still around. My problem is I do not really have the money for all the equipment needed for extraction and bottling. I am going to look into using the extractor from our club but I still need the rest of the equipment. We have had a lot of extra expenses this year with the new house and it is going to be tough getting what is needed for bottling the honey. What can I do with the honey supers if there are any full ones? Can I leave them on the hive for the bees over winter? I would not think so since I have heard of bees starving when honey was only a few frames away. Can the full frames be kept until later when I can afford to purchase what I need?
 

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You have several options here. First you could crush and strain using stuff you already have in the kitchen plus a few cheap items like a new pair of pantyhose for the strain part. You could bottle in mason jars which are cheap...or just leave the honey on the hive. I wintered 3 hives last year with two deeps and a super and they did just fine. :)
 

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trade you a super full of honey for a couple empty supers, and foundation
NOT a good deal, lets look at some bee math....Full med super of honey = 30 to 45 pounds of honey, lets use 35 as an average. I sell my honey for 6 dollars a pound so 6X35= $210. I can purchase supers with frames and foundation for around 30 bucks each. Better to leave it on the hive and if the bees don't need it for winter it will still be there next year for a good start. :)
 

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I am going to look into using the extractor from our club but I still need the rest of the equipment. We have had a lot of extra expenses this year with the new house and it is going to be tough getting what is needed for bottling the honey.
If you get an extractor from a club then there are very few additional expenses. You can use a bread knife to uncap (or even a homemade capping scratcher), filter through cheesecloth or other clean fine material, and surely you can recycle some quart jars, or simply store it in food grade plastic 5 gal pail. The pails can be gotten free from a local bakery. At your scale this season, you do not need any fancy extracting equipment. In fact, your club may also offer more than just an extractor - I know ours does.
 

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Deer slayer i know of a County Extention office here in central ky that have 2 extractors that the state bought and gave to the extention office. They have a small one that does 2 frames at a time, hand crank for $5 rental fee..They have a larger extractor thats electric and it does 6 frames at a time for a $15 rental fee...If you want the ph number and any other info just private message me!
 

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good idea honeybeek. Slayer, just throw another super on if you can and leave them bee....best place to store it is right where they put it!
 

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Dadant and Mann Lake both sell a bucket strainer for just a few $$. I woudl also get two five gall buckets and a honey gate on one. You can buy a honey gate if you already have clean buckets.

Then don't worry about saving the wax or drawn comb. Assuming you have plastic foundation, just take a puddy knife (I use a metal one) and scrap wax honey and all into a bucket. Chop it up a bit with your puddy knife, then poor it onto the bucket strainer over the bucket with the honey gate. Let drain for a few hours. Bottle the honey in mason jars or whatever.

I just did 8 frames this way as I needed some honey but too lazy to fire up the extractor. (did not want to clean it for just one super of honey)

Put the 'wet' frames back on the hive for two days to clean the frames off.

The bucket strainers and honey gate are somthign you will need next year anyway.
 

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Find a local beek who will extract it for a share of the honey. Or put the frames in a freezer until you are ready to do something with it - if you have room.
 

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Sounds like they are in excellent shape. Personally, I would leave everything alone and see where you're at this fall if you don't need the honey right now. If you get into a severe dearth in August it's shocking how quickly they can go through their stores. Feeding is a pain in the neck, especially when it's self inflicted.
 

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if you can borrow some time on an extractor, maybe there is a small packer/retailer of honey that buys from hobbyists. Just extract into a 5 gal pail and that's all you need to do. The small packer/seller does all the rest and writes you a check for your honey.

might be worth looking into.

Big Bear
 

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this is what i get you just stopped feeding.because they filled the top with nector...i'd bet that on depending on how much you fed most will be stored..sugarwater...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
this is what i get you just stopped feeding.because they filled the top with nector
I actually stopped feeding before I put the shallow on so I think it is all honey.

Thanks for all the replys. I have several ways to go with this now. I do plan on leaving everything alone for now. I Would not harvest any until this fall if I do it at all.

Can you really freeze the comb right on the frame and thaw it out later? I have an empty chest freezer in the basement I was planning on using to freeze any wax moth larva at the end of this season.

I like the 5$ rental. Sounds like a good option for this year. I will send a PM.
 
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