Best way to proceed?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tyro, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Whether good or bad - my (significant) winter losses this year have left me with a LOT of capped honey in deep frames. We had several cold spells (<-20F for a week or more) that I am sure did my bees in. Many hives died with large clusters inches from honey and full or nearly full deeps of honey on top of them.

    The silver lining to this is that I now have plenty of honey to feed back to nucs that I will make up with a commercial beekeeper here in May.

    I will be making three and four frame nucs and adding queens to them about the second week of May to replace my losses. Nucs will be going into 10 frame deep hives with drawn comb (another silver lining). I am planning on putting frames of honey in the 1/2 and 9/10 positions in the single deep that they are installed into.

    If the nucs act anything like last years nucs - they will fill that bottom box quickly and I will have to add the second box probably within a couple of weeks.

    So here is the question: What is the best way to configure that top deep box with the leftover capped honey? I would like to super as early as possible, but I don't want to put so many capped honey frames on top that I encourage them to swarm. I was thinking maybe 5 or 6 frames in the box - leaving the remaining 4 or 5 frames open in the middle of the box.

    Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with this?

    BTW - I can't extract the honey, because I medicated the bees after I pulled the supers last fall - so I don't know which frames may have medicated honey in them or not.
     
  2. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Tyro, you could extract it and keep it seperate and feed back when you need it. I would keep the brood nest as open as possible,no more than four frames. #1 and #10 honey,#2 and #9 honey and pollen, the rest open. But now that's just me. :) Jack
     

  3. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    Ok, that is an idea - but I have another question:

    What is the best way to feed honey back to bees? I presently use inverted bucket over the inner cover to feed syrup. The holes in the lids seem a bit small to permit any meaningful amount of honey to be accessed.

    Is there a better feeding strategy for honey?
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    What i do in the spring. It doesn't have to be pure honey, i cut it with a little water,just enough to make it run or seep better. If i have frames of honey that i don't need, i put in the freezer and feed back in the fall. (makes the wife happy when i take up her freexer space. :mrgreen: ) Jack
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    snip..
    Is there a better feeding strategy for honey?

    tecumseh:
    define better? what do you wish to accomplish and what resources can you bring to this task?

    as I suspect you know Tyro thinner stuff approach the make up of nectar and thicker stuff (fructose, sucrose or whatever) that of honey. the thinner stuff does more to encourage brood building and the thicker stuff does a better job of adding weight.

    in feeding honey in the comb scratching the capping of the frames (adjacent to the brood nest) speeds the uptake considerable. I have toyed with the idea of feeding sucrose in the comb but haven't got around to implementing that project yet.
     
  6. Tyro

    Tyro Member

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    tecumseh,

    My goal is really just to get the honey back to the bees as quickly as I can before I lose it and the comb to some pest. Wax moths aren't really a threat around here until June and we don't really have small hive beetles until the commercial beekeepers come back - so I have a little time.

    I make nucs in early May so it would seem that might be able to get the honey back in the hives before the wax moths show up.

    Ideally, I would just store them in my freezer until the fall and then give them to the hives that aren't quite ready for winter. I can't really do that anymore - my wife hit a patch of ice coming into the garage and crashed into my freezer this winter! The lid no longer closes - so that is headed to the junkyard (it is just old enough that replacement parts aren't made for it anymore.

    So, short of feeding it back to them or provisioning the hives with honey early, I don't know what is the best thing to do.