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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two first year hives, one hive the bees have barely stored any honey in the super, about 5 frames that are about 50% full on either side, none of the honey is capped. The second hive is pretty strong and the super has 8 full frames of capped honey. I know most keepers in my area have already harvested. My question is do I harvest the 8 frames I have or leave it on the hive for the bees? I don't have any extracting equipment yet.
 

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The bees need something like 40-60 lbs of honey to overwinter on. So if the hives are light, you might want to think about feeding them now. If you have over 60lbs of honey in there, then you could harvest it and not worry. Sounds like you might not though. What kind of boxes is the brood nest in? Are your hives 1 deep and 1 medium? or 2 deeps and 1 medium? or ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have two deeps on both hives and one medium (ten frame). My strong hive has about 7 frames of brood and and 6 frames of honey, this is also the one that has produced the excess honey this year. The weaker hive has about 4 frames of brood and has just started storing honey in the deeps, I think there are about 4 or 5, the weaker hive has several frames that are relatively empty as well. I am concerned about the weak hive making it through the winter, I will definitely be re-queening this one in the Spring. I left the queen excluder off the weak hive, because another beekeeper told me that in indrawn honey supers if you let them establish some brood they will be more apt to start working it.
 

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If they were my hives, I would unite both of them. Too weak to last a good winter. By uniting them, you will have a stronger hive to winter and to also split in the spring, thus recovering the hive you lost by uniting them. Killing the less productive of the two queens will be necessary if you unite them. OMTCW
 
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