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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?!
 

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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
 

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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
 

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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!
 

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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
 

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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!
 

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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
 

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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.
:)
 

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@GregV I tinted my sugar syrup green, not light but not dark either. I didn't notice the color in the frames at all and I Know they took it. Because of this I crush/strained all of it and it tastes too sweet but no green tint to it at all. So I'm guessing either it needs to be Dark Dark tinted to be seen
Have you seen this before ?
 

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@GregV I tinted my sugar syrup green, not light but not dark either. I didn't notice the color in the frames at all and I Know they took it. Because of this I crush/strained all of it and it tastes too sweet but no green tint to it at all. So I'm guessing either it needs to be Dark Dark tinted to be seen
Have you seen this before ?
I definitely tint syrup well (see pic).

You can definitely tell the green hue in the combs where they stored the syrup.

If I see even some of the greenish honey in a frame - that entire frame is for the bees and I don't care for it.


This is how in the crop 2021 one (one batch!) I suspect I harvested some of my sugar by mistake (from a dark comb) - the honey has greenish touch to it. Not terrible as the batch is small, but I do have it and, indeed, this is a non-remarkable batch as it may have too much syrup in it. I don't know for sure, just once I noticed the off-color, I started some speculations.

The bees could have also found a half-empty bottle of Gatorade somewhere and sucked it up and I later harvested it - a real possibility too.

(see pic - the smaller jar may have some sugar syrup - not much but the color if it is OFF just enough to make me suspicious - maybe this is totally from a natural source too and this is all my imagination).


So keep in mind - they will spread the syrup around in various degree and thus you still might get some of it if not careful OR no matter how careful. And thus it is good to separate the "clean" hives from "contaminated" hives. The "clean" hives are those I do not feed and then know that the honey is harvest-able.


Pretty much if I "contaminate" the hive by feeding, I prefer to not harvest from it at all - ALL of the sugar honey will be used up for my bee projects. This contaminated 2021 batch I got from the hive that had few frames of "sugar honey" (clearly marked too) and I decided to chance it by harvesting some of the "clean frames". Well it shows that the bees move the nectar and honey around as they see fit without asking for the beekeepers permissions and opinions.
 

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Mine was tinted a bit darker then that. And there is no hue to the honey that I can see. I'll get a pic tonight.
Forgot to say that I did leave combs that were questionable in a swarm trap hive (3 hives actually) at a friend's house. There was a very odd color on top box combs that I wasn't sure so thought better to leave those. They looked darker but I didn't know if it was just the goldenrod or green. No swarms in them yet :(
I heated up 3 of the Crystallized jars to see what happens. They are definitely darker color when liquid. I'm wondering how long it will take to crystallize again and I'm going to try and cream one to see how big the Crystal's are, I like crystallized honey anyway.

FYI, I didn't take any honey last year except in late Spring to free up some space. Just 3 frames. So I've not got anything to compare it to color wise since spring honey was very light.

I guess I should check to see if it's thinner consistency?
 

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tastes too sweet but no green tint to it at all.
FYI - "too sweet" is NOT an indication of sugar syrup present.
If anything, honey is sweeter than sugar.
If this "too sweet" honey is not greenish, then it most likely is just a particular natural honey.

What it is - when you harvest in small batches, you will notice soon enough that many batches will be unique.
Some of the batches will taste "better" than the others to you.
Some of the batches will be more bland than the others.
For example, we prefer batches where some goldenrod is present as well as batches that contain enough bee bread to give off its own flavor. On the opposite range, we get honey batches that have no particular flavor but are "just sweet" (whatever the sources of those were). I myself don't care for the honeys that are "just sweet" - but there is nothing wrong with such honeys; they are still natural and are NOT sugar syrup.
 
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