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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My couple top bar hives did pretty well last year and the fall flow was nice and they got packed up nicely. I took some of the honey, but I figured it was better to err on the side of caution and left in what I thought would be a bit extra.

I was wrong though, it was more than a bit. Despite the colder/longer winter here, my hives seem to have 20-40lbs of the fall honey still in them. They are now bringing in pollen and raising brood. I know it's honey, because I didn't feed. I know I could get more honey by taking more and feeding, but right now that's not for me.

When it is ok to steal the remainder? The hives are currently bringing pollen, but I haven't seen nectar come in. So it seems like this should be a good time. So I only have cured honey in my hives, but plenty of pollen and I suspect nectar will be coming in shortly.
 

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IF I had any left over fall honey I usually take it off the hives before the major honey flow ...never wanted to mix my fall with my spring honey but that's just my opinion
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just wanted to make sure I take it off after they no longer need it and I figured better to ask and sound like an idiot than make a guess and kill the hive or maybe just prevent build up before the spring flow.

I'm partial for the fall flow flavors myself, richer and stronger than the spring flow. My girlfriend won't touch the fall stuff. She'll be happy if I make sure it's gone and won't contaminate her spring honey.
 

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Just be sure to leave at least two top bars of honey for brood rearing/bad weather. Bees will stop rearing brood if the pollen or honey stores run out due to bad weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Besides the bars of honey, the brood areas still has 3+ bar with the arching 2-3in wide ribbons of honey across the top, but I'll still be conservative. I saw my first flowering cherry tree yesterday so I'm expecting they'll be bringing in nectar soon.

By spring mine is all crystallized so there is no point taking it...
I know that's a significant possibility, but I can hope. I've heard Goldenrod crystalizes quickly and I'm guessing that's what it is considering the stank which was coming off the hives last fall.

Even if it's lost to me it will go to good use for a couple splits.
 

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By spring mine is all crystallized so there is no point taking it...
I do not find this always to be true, and how does capped honey crystalize? I will be harvesting my excess once the fruit trees begin to bloom/once I know nectar is coming in (very soon). As stated just be sure to leave plenty for, just in case ;)
 

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Anytime I've taken fall honey that was still surplus in the spring (or from dead outs), if it isn't crystalized it gets that way soon after I bottle it. Not the end of the world but something to keep in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I got about 20 lbs of honey from the 2 hives.

I extracted using crush and strain. After letting drain for 3 days in a warm dry place, I bottled it. It all set up as creamed honey a couple hour later. So I'm guessing it was starting to crystalize in hive the crush/strain facilitated the process of distributing small see crystals. That's just a guess though.
 

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I have 2 brood chambers on my hive. The top brood box is full of capped honey?! I see no eggs or larvae. Is my hive in trouble? Should I stop giving them pollen patties? Or, should I extract that fall honey. I really don't know where all that honey came from (other than the bees duh). I don't believe they had that much when I closed them up in the fall. It is still a bit cold here in Western NY.
 
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