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I started 2 hives from a package no foundation etc in april... One hive is doing pretty good but probably wont have any spare honey.
The other hive is booming . They have filled two deep brood boxes. A few weeks back ,I put on one med honey super . Its about full.
My question is this hive being brand new. Should I rob that honey? I intend to put on another honey super tomorrow reguardless.

I am leaning towards leaving it to them for the fall and winter. If they would have filled in the first of July . I most likely would have taken it but its almost August.

Opinions please?
 

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If you want it take it. Extract it all and give the comb back to them to fill. If your fall flow is nonexistent or to weak for them to build up, feed them both at the same time to avoid robbing.
My opinion will be in the minority:)!
 

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Take the honey. If you don't take the honey from them they will only end up putting brood in that honey super next spring. Got to remember that the hive will start brooding up very close to the food supply and in that case it would be in your honey super. Then getting them out of it would be a real pain in the neck later on. So as Mbeck states, take the honey, and if need be feed both colonies later at the same time to get them ready for winter.
 

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What's normal for overwintering bees in your area? One or two deeps? Anything above what they need can be harvested. Not sure what your flows look like in your area for the rest of the year, but here in PA the 5 packages I started in April after moving here this spring already have at least one full medium of surplus already, one has two full and I managed to make 6 splits off them. And I still expect to have a fall flow. Granted, I had tons of drawn comb but still, this year has put to rest for me the idea that you can make increase or make honey but not both.

Wayne
 

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I myself started 10 packages this spring on April 6th and have made 15 splits from them and still have excess honey. It's all in how you manage your bees and take care of them. Mine started with only 1 frame drawn and the rest RiteCell. The old theory of "first year pacakges not getting honey" is a wash in my eyes at this point.
 

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I say take what you need for yourself. You can feed em to refill it if necessary.

Drawn comb is priceless. Hopefully by next year I will be in the same boat as wayne and have some on hand. Wayne, with all that drawn comb, whats with the packages? Winter deadouts? I guess with all those splits, and a decent winter you wont be worrying about packages next spring. G
 

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Had a year off from the bees last year while recovering from deadouts and career changes resulting in a move to PA. Still have empty hives sitting in a field that was under 3 feet of snow when I left Maine in March. Haven't been back to get them yet. There could be swarms moved in and that would be a nice surprise to find when I get back.

But you're right, drawn comb is like gold. Year two is almost always easier for a new beekeeper.

Wayne
 

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This was an exceptional year for honey here. I got at least 75 pounds off my overwintered hive, and would probably have had more if I had more drawn comb -- the bees seem to be able to fill a super with capped honey faster than they can draw new foundation half way! Boomer year.

I'd hesitate to say it's usually possible here to get honey off a new package, but my brother got a shallow completely capped from his Russian package started on drawn comb and stores from a deadout (split between two new packages). However, the Italian package he started at the same time appears to be queenless and hasn't even done a good job of filling out the first deep. Usually we can get a hive up to winter condition without too much trouble from a package, but not excess to take.

Peter
 

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My location is different from yours; a talk with those closer to you will likely give you some good information.

Last year was my first, and I took a conservative approach. Since I knew that I couldn't predict the quality of the Fall flow, and neither did I have the confidence to judge if there were enough stores for Winter, I left everything for the bees. I also did not have an extractor, and wanted to have drawn comb to give back.

The Fall flow turned out to be weak and the winter was harsh. I lost 2 of 3 colonies. The one colony that survived did consume most of their stores (most of a a deep and most of a medium). In Spring (April) it was clear what stores were unneeded and I then extracted.

Was this a good or the best approach? I really can't say for sure, since I have no point of comparison. I do know that at least one colony came through, that I still got honey, and that I gained some experience. Now that I have a tiny bit more experience, I'll probably be able to better judge if the bees still have enough honey going into winter, but will still leave a lot for them until Spring. Delayed gratification is OK for me.
 
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