When do I remove honey?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by frank4570, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. frank4570

    frank4570 Active Member

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    Earlier this year, maybe 4 month ago, I purchased 2 active hives from a local beekeeper. Each of the hives had 3 of the boxes, I also purchased from him 2 more of the boxes with the frames for them. I put the new boxes on top maybe 6weeks ago and left them alone. Today I went and had a look and installed an excluder on each hive. Each hive has honey in the top box and nothing else in the top box, no brood, no pollen, at least as far as I can tell.One hive the top box is pretty much full, the other is maybe half or a bit more. I have read a book on beekeeping from the library, and now I am going to buy one. But can I just get some guidelines for now. When do I take the honey, how much do I take, and when do I treat for mites?
    Thanks!
     
  2. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Hi frank, welcome to the forum. To answer your questions we need a little more info. Where are you located, for one? What size boxes and how many, are you using for the brood chamber?

    As for excluders, I put them on my hives when I put the supers on just prior to the beginning of a nectar flow. I leave them on until the flow stops.

    As for pulling supers, I pull mine after the honey flow ends. I try not to pull any honey that is uncapped- if I do get some uncapped frames I put them back out with wet supers and let the bees rob them. I know some people will extract frames that are 2/3 (of the filled cells) or more capped.

    You need to leave some honey for the bees for winter feed, again, this will depend upon your location. Here in MN I think it is recommended to leave between 45-60 pounds of honey on each hive.

    Treat for mites after the last honey flow in your area, and after you have removed your honey supers. Never use chemicals in your hives with honey supers on. Make sure you read the label directions and follow them carefully. Mites are showing resistance to both fluvalinate and coumaphos, in part because many beekeepers misuse them.

    Best advice I can offer is to find the local beekeeping organization in your area and attend some of their meetings. Make friends, and ask other experienced beekeepers what schedule they follow. Conditions vary so much geographically that it is difficult for beekeepers outside your are to tell you what is best.

    Good luck with your bees.

    Elizabeth
     

  3. frank4570

    frank4570 Active Member

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    Well, my location is northern Virginia. And the size of the boxes........I believe there are 2 standard sizes, right? Mine are the larger of the two sizes. If there are more sizes then I will have to measure and get back to you.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper keeper of the bees Staff Member Supporter

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    There are three sizes of hive boxes. Deeps 9 5/8" from top to bottom, Mediums 6 5/8" from top to bottom and shallows 5 5/16" from top to bottom.
    Here in Michigan most bee keepers who use the deeps leave two full for the bees at seasons end. If they use the mediums they leave three full for the bees to over winter on. I haven't heard of any one useing shallows as brood boxes so I have no idea what those people do.
    There are people extracting here as I type this. They are hobby bee keepers and extract 2 to 5 frames as they are fully capped. Since they are small they have smaller extractors in the 2 to 4 frame range which makes the task a bit eaiser on them by doing a few at a time.
    :D Al
     
  5. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There are in reality 4 sizes of boxes and frames,I have some that are almost 12 inches deep.
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Here in KAnsas, a hive needs 2 full boxes to winter over. Anything over that is ours!

    Since our spring honey is much better than the fall honey, I will be taking honey as soon as it is capped.

    I had one hive make a single HUGE comb that was about 3 inches thick instead of drawing out other combs. I took and extracted the big comb, but they are STILL not drawing out the other combs in the super! Very irritating, but at least I got over 3 quarts from that one comb.

    Another hive is drawing its super very quickly, and filling it with honey as they go. I will take those frames as soon as they are capped, as I want the spring honey. Right now they are working clover, which makes VERY fine honey! Clover honey is my favorite! :)

    They can keep the fall honey, it is not nearly as good.

    Basically, you can take the honey as soon as most of the cells are capped, as long as you do not touch the 2 lower boxes. When the honey is 80% capped, it is ready. Because my area can get VERY humid, I prefer 90% capped, but then when food is involved I am cautious to a fault.

    I have heard that in the tropics the bees only need one box, but winters last 6 months where I live and in Kansas the bees need 2 full boxes of bees and winter stores.
     
  7. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Actually, there are even more than 4 sizes. Just to really confuse matters, I have some of what are known as "3/4" deeps. They are between a deep and a medium in depth.
     
  8. frank4570

    frank4570 Active Member

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    Mine seem to be the mediums, I just measured them. Good thing I checked, I would have thought they were bigger than that.
     
  9. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Frank,
    Normally, I like to take the honey I want in July. It must be because I like that balmy July weather! ;) Seriously, you won't get the stain from the bees walking back and forth over the capped honey if you take it now. Just make sure your bees will have plenty for themselves. Good Luck!