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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went into the boxes again this morning. This is the 2nd time in about 2 weeks. When I was in there a couple of weeks ago the outer frames in both top and bottom box had foundation but not much else. Today, both boxes were completely full. all frames were filled. I put another super on top of them. Why did they get so busy all of a sudden? We do have a lot of things like tobacco blooming right now. The new supers I put on this morning, if they fill those with honey is that what I can harvest? pretty cool thing to see
 

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If they fully cap frames in the third box, yes, you can take those. Congrats. It sounds like a great first year.
 

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That sounds great! I'm glad they are doing well...the cotton has bloomed in the last couple of weeks so you will have a good bit of change in your supers now until sometime in September.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
do you think there is any chance I may need another super? if so, I need to order them. A lot of the honey wasn't capped but some of it was.
 

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L00ker123 said:
do you think there is any chance I may need another super? if so, I need to order them. A lot of the honey wasn't capped but some of it was.

You might want to go ahead and order them. We usually get a pretty good bit of honey between now and the wind up of the fall season. Give us a call if you need help or want us to come take a look. I don't have any spare boxes or I would loan you some until you get an order in. Glad to hear your bees are doing well!
 

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looker writes:
Why did they get so busy all of a sudden?

tecumseh:
actually some of that is a bit of a optical illusion. the bee have been getting ready for the flurry of activity for quite some time. since you had an extra box to toss on top evidently you have been properly busy also. all this interaction between bees and beekeeper when properly executed just appear to happen suddenly.

you are almost always better advised to have one too many supers than to have one too few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went back out and looked at them again tonight. The new supers I added are full of bees already. pretty cool to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The supers I added are full already of uncapped honey. I ordered a couple of more to put on the boxes. When they are capped when should I harvest them? Is there a better time than a worse time? I know about the weather and such but what about the time of day does it matter. Do you use the bee brush to get them off the frames or do you smoke them off? I think I am going to have to get it soon as soon as it is capped or am I wrong?
 

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as a general rule you can remove the honey and extract when the comb is capped. if you do this little dance quick enough you can often get the 'wet' supers back on and get them quickly filled up again. 'ideally' you would want to place the supers removed back on the hive they were removed from if you want to limit any possible disease transfer between hives.

removing bees from the supers is another question. a bee brush was the original means to remove bees from supers <quite doable in small number but generally an extra box and something to cover the box is required. a high velocity 'leaf blower' is often used in commercial operation. I currently prefer to remove the bees from supers using 'chemicals' <these are several of these by the best know products are bee go and bee quick... the first is pretty nasty smellin' stuff and the latter doesn't really smell great but is not nasty smellin' either. although I call these products 'chemical' bee quick is sold as being from all natural sources and I think??? bee go is derived from almonds. both require just a small quantity added to a fume board (essentially a bit of fabric stapled onto a shell or picture frame the size of the hive with one side painted black to absorb heat). once the fume board is slightly warm you spray or drip a very small quantity of either product on the bottom side of the board, then you place this on top of the super and wait just a bit (a couple of minutes or so) for the bees to run from the fumes. if you listen carefully you can hear the bees flee from the fumes.
 

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There are also a couple of non-chemical means for getting the bees out of the honey supers. One is the Mann Lake bee escape, catalog #HD-665, $2.95. Another is the triangular escape screen sold by Brushy Mountain Bee Farm, catalog #774, $10.95. These are essentially one-way doors from the honey supers into the bottom boxes. They are non-chemical, but may not work as fast as a fume board. If you use one of these, you'll need to keep an eye out for robbing.
 

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A bee escape, when managed properly, probably makes for the easiest means of taking honey. If there is enough room below the top (filled and capped) super for the bees to go down, and there are no small holes for unintended bees (robbers) to enter from outside, removing the super is a snap. All the defensive excitement of the bees trying to keep you from taking what they see as theirs passes almost effortlessly.
Just a puff of smoke at the entrance, remove the roof, take your super (leave on the escape) return the roof and you've done it.
BUT make sure you have given the bees enough time to evacuate the super. Done properly, you can walk away with a beeless super. If there is any brood in the super, forget it--the nurses won't leave their job and will stay behind. Open cells also are not so easily abandoned, but all told, escapes are really cool. :yahoo:
 
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