Bee escape or not?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Noronajo, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    I have a hive that even though it was a captured swarm from one of my two beginning hives from last year, has managed to become a phenomenal hive. 17of 20 frames were full of brood on one inspection and they are working on their third super in one of the worst droughts Oklahoma has endured. My question is will using a bee escape and waiting 48 hours 'til the supers clear cause a major meltdown? One of my hives was robbed out and when I went in to clean it up because they managed to save their honey even tho there were very few bees left. In just over 24 hours with 110 degree temps the frames with honey were disintegrating-dropping huge wads of honey on the hive bottom. Will the same thing happen if I use a bee escape and there are no bees left to fan and cool the supers of honey.
     
  2. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    With temps that high, I'd say that this a very good possibility. An alternative is to take an empty super to the yard, pull 1 frame at a time and brush the bees off of it, and place it in the empty box. Move on to the next frame, and repeat. Be sure to take a piece of cloth to cover the box you're putting frames into to discourage robbing. When the first box is empty, you can either pull it, or re-fill it with frames with foundation, or wet frames that you have already extracted.
    This is my normal way of harvesting, I drive truck and am gone Sunday thru Thursday or Friday. I don't wait until all 10 frames in the super are capped and then take the whole thing. I may pull 5 or 6 frames from each hive, and replace with foundation or wet frames.
     

  3. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    Got your answer in the nick of time-heading out now-been waiting for the clouds to break up. Like it's really gonna rain more than a few sprinkles! It's only 79*- practically chilly. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  4. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    Woohoo! Worked like a charm-great advice! Pulled 20 frames, fully capped-now it's time to extract our very first honey!
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    To the victor go the spoils. :thumbsup: Enjoy the fruits of your (and your bees') hard work. Twenty fully capped frames is a nice crop. If they're deeps, it should be over 20 kg (about 44 lbs). That should keep your toast sweetly "buttered" for a long winter.
    How many hives do you have? Are your others (if any) as promising?
    Just remember to leave adequate supplies for the girls too. What for you is a delicacy, for them is life or death. :smile:
     
  6. Noronajo

    Noronajo New Member

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    Just finished cleaning up-almost 60 lbs. so far-haven't strained the cappings yet. All but two frames were from a hive started this spring from a swarm. We started with two packages last April, one of which threw enough swarms to go from 2 hives to 6. I moved 3 of them 14 miles north amid fields of vetch and clover and figured no honey this year due to excessively high temps and no rain for weeks. How nice to be proved wrong. I didn't have to feed any of them and they all have ample stores. Two of the three hives I kept in my home yard were robbed out last week-another hard lesson learned-but even tho the hive was too weak to stand alone it provided 6-7 frames of honey for any hive that needs it. And I learned how valuable Iddees robber screens can be-I just wasn't skillful enough to get them done quickly enough.