Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2 deep hive with a medium super. The bees swarmed twice on me this year despite the room. Last fall going into winter they were diminished I fed them as much sugar syrup as I could. They filled the medium super and survived well off that. Come this year ot appeared they were eating through it, then they refilled with nectar this summer as well as several frames in the 2nd deep.
I want to take some of the capped honey from the medium for myself. Looking at the frames though, several are dark capped but several are very light capped frames...which look just about the same as they did when they capped the sugar syrup in the fall.
I dont want to take frames if they are left over sugar syrup and not honey.
Is it possible that is the case they did not consume the syrup they capped in the fall or is it just lighter honey from different flowers maybe collected in the spring?
How can I tell the difference between capped honey and capped sugar syrup?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
The only way to tell is by chemical analysis.Best thing to do is assume it is all sugar and leave for the bees to overwinter on.
And never again feed with honey supers on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
I have a 2 deep hive with a medium super. The bees swarmed twice on me this year despite the room. Last fall going into winter they were diminished I fed them as much sugar syrup as I could. They filled the medium super and survived well off that. Come this year ot appeared they were eating through it, then they refilled with nectar this summer as well as several frames in the 2nd deep.
I want to take some of the capped honey from the medium for myself. Looking at the frames though, several are dark capped but several are very light capped frames...which look just about the same as they did when they capped the sugar syrup in the fall.
I dont want to take frames if they are left over sugar syrup and not honey.
Is it possible that is the case they did not consume the syrup they capped in the fall or is it just lighter honey from different flowers maybe collected in the spring?
How can I tell the difference between capped honey and capped sugar syrup?!
Do you "remember" this spring which were empty and which were full, avoid the full ones from spring, take a couple frames you recall as being empty.

other than that not much "cheaply" can be done.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
this comment:
The bees swarmed twice on me this year despite the room.

And you are 2 deeps and a medium. My spring 2 deep 1 mediums are now 3 deep 5 medium.
Consider if they swarmed 2 times, you may need more supers next year.

the 2D 1 M is a good wintering setup IMO either stack on some supers or do a split in the spring.

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. The medium super I left I didn't add anymore boxes because I read only to add if the frames are 80% built out and covered with bees. Even before they swarmed I was not at that percentage filled with bees and several of the plastic deep frames were not, (and still not) built out with wax. But the medium super stayed mostly full,(from the fall sugar syrup feeding) over winter and into summer.... In June I put a deep super on top of the medium sonthey would have room to store more...They wandered around on it a lot but never stored a drop in it, opting to store more in the two deep brood boxes instead?

Looking at the full medium super, half the frames are capped very light and half are very dark.
Inthink I will assume the light ones are still the sugar syrup bc the appeared light last fall when capped. And Inhope that means the dark looking stuff is real honey and I'll take those.

Any idea why they would opt to start filling the bottom 2 brood boxes w honey instead of going up to the supers likenthey are naturally supposed to do? Also a lot of what is stored in the 1st two deep brood boxes stays mostly uncapped...and very little capped brood now. I try to constantly read about bee habits and watch videos but it is still so much a mystery to me why they do not behave like what I read. I'm only in year 3 and only successfully gotten honey last year...I need to get better at figuring these guys out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,759 Posts
Thanks all. The medium super I left I didn't add anymore boxes because I read only to add if the frames are 80% built out and covered with bees. Even before they swarmed I was not at that percentage filled with bees and several of the plastic deep frames were not, (and still not) built out with wax. But the medium super stayed mostly full,(from the fall sugar syrup feeding) over winter and into summer.... In June I put a deep super on top of the medium sonthey would have room to store more...They wandered around on it a lot but never stored a drop in it, opting to store more in the two deep brood boxes instead?

Looking at the full medium super, half the frames are capped very light and half are very dark.
Inthink I will assume the light ones are still the sugar syrup bc the appeared light last fall when capped. And Inhope that means the dark looking stuff is real honey and I'll take those.

Any idea why they would opt to start filling the bottom 2 brood boxes w honey instead of going up to the supers likenthey are naturally supposed to do? Also a lot of what is stored in the 1st two deep brood boxes stays mostly uncapped...and very little capped brood now. I try to constantly read about bee habits and watch videos but it is still so much a mystery to me why they do not behave like what I read. I'm only in year 3 and only successfully gotten honey last year...I need to get better at figuring these guys out!
Additional comments

Dark may mean the comb is dark as it had brood.
Do a lift test, lift the back or front of the hive, if you can barely lift it you should be able to take honey, if it feels very light then should not take as much.
Could have been "dearth" ish there this summer, each summer is different.

they will fill comb they have before making more comb.
I personally do not use plastic as it has some of the features you have seen.

what you can do is when you are in the hive take frame 1 and 10 likely full out, slide the others apart and add in a new frame in position 3 or 4 and 6 or 7.
Only 2 at a time, in the nest they tend to start them better. Place the filled/built frames in the center of the top box you added slot 5 and 6 for example.
than go back in in 2 weeks and do the same thing move 1 and 10 out add in 2 more frames . put the filled/built ones in 4 and 7 of the top box. Once you have built frames up there they tend to go sideways into the new better. Look for pyramiding up. to see more about it.

too late this year for that, good time to start would be when the dandelions bloom enmass.

keep on learning, it take a bit of time to get a handle on things.

What is your Mite count?

GG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
332 Posts
As to light and dark cappings: either could be honey or syrup. Sometimes there is an air pocket under the cappings, which are then light, yellow. Other times the cell is more full of honey making the cappings "brown" (ish). It's like when your jeans are wet they appear darker but are not magically changed from denim to linen.... Imo they don't move capped honey unless it is in their way because they are expanding the brood nest. So if this was capped syrup and they never put brood in that medium then it is still capped syrup. Better luck next year.
They will swarm before they are 80% full and yet it is a good rule for adding space. If you don't have drawn comb do as GG said (in the spring, too late now) and search for OSBN (opening the sides of the brood nest). Enjoy your bees even if you don't get honey this year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,870 Posts
This won't help you this year but I have gone from two deeps and a medium to three deeps for my winter configuration. I dont have to worry about the queen laying in the honey super and know all my mediums contain just honey. No worries if they have enough stores for winter. If they have three deeps, they can survive the worst winter.
I reduce to two deeps in the spring and the extra deeps in inventory give me flexibility throughout the summer. J
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Always taint your sugar syrup.
This kinds of questions will not come up again.
I make my syrup green.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Please tell me you meant tint Greg. ��
I taint it with food coloring - that in turn adds obviously un-natural tint to sugar honey.
Food coloring does not really belong in any of this, hence - taint.
Small price to pay and OK with me and, presumably, the bees too.
:)
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top