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Discussion Starter #1
I saw exactly ONE (1) small hive beetle today in four hives! It's a really good year for the absence of SHB, at least in my observation. But I have a large hive that took a big hit on its population due to varroa, and though that infestation seems to be dealt with, there are two supers mostly full but uncapped, and almost no bees on them, because the population plummeted in the middle of the nectar flow and there aren't enough bees to tend these. There's a lot of brood in the hive, and I think all or most of the nurse bees are tending the brood at this point. I'm concerned, even though I'm not seeing much SHB, that these supers are very vulnerable the beetle. Should I remove the supers and extract, even though not capped, just to be on the safe side? I don't have any other hives I can give the supers to at this point. If I had freezer space I'd store them and give them back to the bees later.
 

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Hmmmmm. Not sure what I would do exactly. You say there is lots of brood. How far out until you think they will hatch? Are the mites taken care of? If so, maybe the population can build again enough to deal with this on its own. If it was me, I might leave the hive on its own and see how the bees work it out. Sometimes our attempt at intervention actually messes up their flow. If you had freezer space, that would be nice, but if that is not an option, you may have to leave it alone. There is probably too much moisture in the nectar yet to extract, and good honey has no moisture. The bees fan it and evaporate it. Sounds like you may need to just trust their process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Those supers have been almost full for a few weeks now. I put them above an excluder hoping the bees would cap them, and they will eventually. They have virtually no bees on them now, and Im concerned about small hive beetle incursion.
 

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If you have another hive put the supers on it until you're ready to extract.
Maybe you can borrow a refractometer from someone near by to test the uncapped honey. If below 18% extract. If moisture is high make mead.
Freeze honey for starting packages next year.

There are many possible answers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Am thinking I may divide the honey between the new splits I made this year. They can use some extra, since they're having to build comb.
 

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Can't you check the % of the uncapped nectar and if 17 or above simply extract it?
 
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