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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently heard of a harvesting method that seemed too good to be true. The method basically involves pulling your full honey supers at or near dusk and setting them near the hives they came from. After dark, you come back and load them up. The idea beeing that the girls fly back to their homes at nightfall, so they are virtually empty of bees.

Has anyone harvested using this method?

Besides any worries of skunk/**** tearing into the supers before returning to load them up….have there been other problems with this method (bee’s staying in supers after nightfall since they may have stuffed themselves w/ dripping honey; etc.)?

Thanks!
 

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I would think that robbing would be a problem. If you covered the supers to prevent robbing, how would the bees get out?
 

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If it's a dearth and robbing starts some will stay even after dark. I do this during a flow. Abandonment is a good method DURING a flow. But sometimes it's hard to predict if robbing will start.

My advice is don't try it on all the hives at once. Try one and see how it goes. If it goes well, then go back and try a few more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess I was hoping to avoid robbing by pulling the supers off at or near dusk

MB - Thanks for the heads-up. The main flow ended early hear this year in west-central IN...and activity really dropped to a minimum over the last 3 weeks.

I even had one of the hives (Yugo - not known for robbing) completely rob out a very week hive over a week ago.
 

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I'd say if you do it at dusk, it MIGHT work. Then again if they don't bother to leave soon enough you'd still have some in the supers because they don't want to fly at night and if they START to rob, which takes very little time in a dearth, there always seem to be some that stay.

IMO it will work fine in a flow and if your timing was perfect, maybe even without a flow.

Like I said, I'd just try one and see how it goes for you first. That way if it's a disaster it's only a small one and if it works you can do the rest.

But always keep in mind that timing (dearth/flow light/dark) is everything to this kind of a method. From my experience I'd say that what works one time may fail another time.
 

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You also might keep in mind, the darker it gets, the more defensive the bees get. The bees don't fly alot in the dark, but they crawl and find any opening around. I avoid working bees at night unless I am moving them. If you try this, let us know how it worked!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
10-4. I let you know how it goes....I will do what MB suggested and do a test on a hive or two. Based on the input, I think I'll wait (planning to harvest there in 2 weeks) and try it on our northern colonies since my bro will be around to assist - 2 sets of hands can make a big difference.

When I brought this up, I was wondering what I'd do if I found a large amount of bee's still in the supers after dark....if that would happen I don't see how there is a real advantage since you'd probably have to wait till the a.m. to use a bee blower to get the supers cleared.

Thanks again for the input.
 
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