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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the past when the blackberry flow in my area ends, there are often hives with numerous frames of uncapped honey. I have seen over and over that if you leave it there for about a week or so, the bees use it all up or move it and suddenly, you have no honey in the supers. I know for a fact, that I am not the only one in the area who has noticed this. Is it worth moving all the frames to one hive (or a couple of hives) so the honey can be consolidated and capped before the bees from all the hives move it or use it all up? One hive may be able to eat up 2 or 3 frames in a short amount of time but they should not be able to eat up or move 20 frames from the supers. The harvest for this year will not be great and I am trying to come with ideas on how to guarantee I will get something and I don't want to pull the frames before the honey is dried down enough.
 

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........ Is it worth moving all the frames to one hive (or a couple of hives) so the honey can be consolidated and capped before the bees from all the hives move it or use it all up?.....
Sounds like a good idea to me to do something now.

But also it sounds like you want to try a cut-down split or a similar brood break 1-2 weeks before your black berry flow.
This is to reduce the number of the mouths to feed going into the dearth situation post-flow - a general good idea.
If I understand, in your area there is not much flow after black berry - maintaining high population becomes liability.
 

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If they are using it then perhaps there is a dearth after the berries in your area? Or perhaps the weather coincides with it. Removing it does not mean they will go find more. Have you tried adding additional supers during the flow?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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You want to be careful removing honey if the flow is over. I went into one of my hives that I was sure the lower super was fully capped from an inspection at the end of May. Not a single frame was still capped as of two days ago. Fortunately for me, the two foundationless cut comb honey frames in the upper super were still intact. I ended up harvesting a total of three frames out of twenty and left at least an entire super full of uncapped, and likely to be eaten by the bees, honey. Bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If they are using it then perhaps there is a dearth after the berries in your area? Or perhaps the weather coincides with it. Removing it does not mean they will go find more. Have you tried adding additional supers during the flow?
The blackberry flow in a really good year will give you a maximum of 2 supers. Most years one. Where my hives are, come the end of the flow, they will be fed until November or they will starve. We will be in total drought with minimal rain until October. The next flow will be ivy in Sept. - Oct. I don't want to remove the supers until they are capped but if I leave them in the hives they originated in while waiting for them to be capped, the honey will never get capped and the supers will be empty in 2 weeks. I will get no harvest. I am hoping I can get them all into one or two hives so there is enough in each of those hives that they can take what they need and cap the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You want to be careful removing honey if the flow is over. I went into one of my hives that I was sure the lower super was fully capped from an inspection at the end of May. Not a single frame was still capped as of two days ago. Fortunately for me, the two foundationless cut comb honey frames in the upper super were still intact. I ended up harvesting a total of three frames out of twenty and left at least an entire super full of uncapped, and likely to be eaten by the bees, honey. Bummer.
That is the problem in a round about way. Most of the honey is not capped and never was. I have hives with 13 or 14 frames of mostly uncapped nectar/honey. If I wait until the flow is over, it will all be gone. If I pull it now, it has too much moisture in it. My hope is to overwhelm a hive or two with so much uncapped honey that they will finally cap it so it can be extracted. I would be perfectly happy with 35 pounds for the year. I will not be happy with nothing!
 
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