OK you guys - don't roll your eyes when you read my new post, but I have one of those "dumb" questions (even though I tell my students that there is no dumb question) for you pros.
All of my hives are small this year because I split, bought a couple, etc. But one of my Russian hives which I bought from a local beekeeper really went to town and grew quickly. I put a second hive body, they filled that out, then I added a super in the spring and had quite a bit of honey in it. I was told that the beekeeper can take what is in the supers??, but I just took 4 frames and left them the rest which was quite a bit but not a full super. I did take a peek in their second hive body and that thing was solid 10 frames full and so heavy with honey I couldn't hardly lift it so I figured they wouldn't miss 4 frames of honey.
OK so I went out there, took a frame out, brushed the bees off into the hive and that wasn't too bad, but it really upset them - big time! I didn't smoke them because I usually work them without smoke - but should I have used smoke?? I was beginning to think I should have by the time I got that 4th frame brushed off and carried off to my waiting chairiot. Those bees were extremely upset - I worked slow and brushed them off carefully. When I left a few kept buzzing me towards the house. But after I extracted the honey I took the frames back and let them clean out the cells, and since it was new foundation, I thought I was being easy extracting it, but some of the comb got messed up - I guess they will have to fix that too. Anyway - I think I will leave them alone for a while!
Do I leave the supers on until they clean them out which will be during the dearth? We still have some flowering stuff around here and a little clover, but it is really slowing down. The dearth in this area is usually August - Sep.