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collecting honey

1230 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  G3farms
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.
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just put the frames back in and leave them for the time being. The bees will clean and repair what you messed up. There is still the fall flow to go so now they have brawn comb to refill for the winter.

>>>>I didn't smoke them because I usually work them without smoke - <<<<

MR., You are much "braver?" than I am. I have been working bees for over 30 years and still will not work them without smoke. I think you just found out why I feel that way.

Now, smoke the entrance lightly, wait one minute, remove the lid, smoke lightly across the top, and remove a few of the frames. I think you will see a great difference in their reaction.
forgot to comment on the brush, I hate them, all they seem to do is really piss them off. Just think of someone sweeping you around with a giant broom. Smoke is very effective at moving bees around and out of the way.

Hi Sandra! Just curious, is there a reason you don't like to use smoke?
OOPS! Looks like I got the gender mixed up. Sorry!
Well I do use smoke when I really get into the bees, but I have been able to work these without smoke a lot because they seem so gentle - BUT I have found out that these Russians are not as "friendly" as my Italians are -

The local beekeeper that I ask so much advise from doesn't use smoke unless she has to and that is how she does it - BUT I think next year it will be a different story...for me because they were not happy and thank goodness I was suited up and I did get one sting through the suit on my arm.

But you know that is one thing all these bee books don't tell you when you go out to collect frames of honey??? Use smoke - don't use smoke? so I thought maybe the smoke affected the honey?? Oh well - I have learned my lesson - another chapter in my bee life book! I have definately learned many lessons by experience in the world of beekeeping!

During the dearth and early fall do I watch when they have taken the honey out? Will they eat the honey from the supers first before they start on the stores in the hive bodies? Those supers are good to keep on them for air conditioning purposes as well- it gives them more space for air because August & Sept are every bit as hot as July here in Arkansas
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You're rolling your eyes at me! ;)
The use of smoke on the frames of honey you are going to extract should be used sparingly, huffing and puffing sometimes will leave your honey with a slight smokey taste.

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