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How do I know when its time to harvest the honey? It is my first year and I know I probably will not get much if any, I just don't know what to look for and when to look for it. I just added the frames to my super last week. I am continuing to feed them. They had drawn out on 8 of the bottom frames and thats when I decided to add the frames to the super.
 

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If you've added supers then you don't want to continue feeding...unless you want sugar water honey.

When the super frames are capped then the honey is ready.
 

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Are you running with deeps or mediums for brood boxes? Honey frames should have white over them, the bees have capped the honey cell.
 

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easy...harvest anytime there is capped honey. Single deeps + mediums or shallows I do not harvest unless I am fairly confident they are ready for another box. So right now there is still potential to put on more honey thru June if clover stays on, however if weather is poor the flow could very well end soon.
 

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I just added the frames to my super last week. I am continuing to feed them.
Feeding and harvesting? What is it you're planning to harvest? Sounds like you're going to harvest sugar water "honey". You can certainly eat that yourself (not sure why you'd want to), but please don't sell it as "local honey". For next season, you should plan on harvesting honey near the 1st of June. I may harvest some of mine this weekend. For future reference, supers go on overwintered colonies in March, the bulk of honey is produced from mid-April to the end of May. Yeah 6 weeks if pretty much the extent of our spring honey flow. After June 1st (most years) is the start of the summer dearth. Perhaps you should leave the stored sugar water on hives and let them consume it during the summer. If you're near cotton or soybeans, you can potentially make honey in the summer too, but you'll need a plan on what to do with that stored sugar water.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have had a bunch of locals tell me its ok to feed them all year. It will help build the colony. I am new to this and I have nothing more to go on other than what I read and what Im told.
 

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Don't get offended, you are here to learn, as am I. Sometimes the responses aren't very artful or they forget they are talking to a new beek.
Never feed when you've got Honey supers on. Sugar water if fine for bee food, but not for production honey. Feeding really helps them draw out the frames before the main flow is on. Good luck! This is the FUN time of the year for beeks....
 

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I was told the same thing by my equipment supplier....feed all year! After reading and posting on this site, I learned just yesterday that this time of year is when the nectar is flowing and that feeding right now is probably not a good idea. So, I ran out last night and removed both of my top feeders. Will observe their activity this evening to see how they are doing with the major change I just put them through! Those poor bees...between me over inspecting them, then gorging them with sugar syrup, then yanking their food away last night....they probably hate me by now!!! But, I am learning new stuff every day!!
 

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I have had a bunch of locals tell me its ok to feed them all year.
Many people will say to feed all the time. I am not a big fan of overfeeding. I wouldn't let my bees starve out, and I do not over harvest. But if there is a flow going on, bees need to get out and work. IMO, honey is much healthier for bees than syrup.

Shane
 
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