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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do I do with frames that are almost full of uncapped honey? I have 3 medium supers with the top two full of capped honey. The 4th super has 7 frames that are only about 1/4 capped the other 2 frames are empty. The 7 frames all have mostly uncapped honey.
I live in northern Michigan, there are no more flowers available.
I have put on a top feeder.
I have given the frames the shake test and nothing spilled out. Is that a safe, effective way to determine if it is OK to harvest?, or should I take the top feeder off and give the bees the super back?
Any and all advise will be appreciated!
 

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You can harvest a few capped frames to make room for the uncapped. Replace the uncapped for the bees, they'll use it up, or use food from your top feeder to cap it off. You only want to harvest capped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can harvest a few capped frames to make room for the uncapped. Replace the uncapped for the bees, they'll use it up, or use food from your top feeder to cap it off. You only want to harvest capped.

Hi Gypsi, thanks for the reply!
I have only 1/2 frame that is that is completely capped, the others have nectar and are in all stages of being fully capped.
Will the bees continue to cap this late in the year?
I am using 'Honey Bee Healthy' in my top feeder.
If I put the super back on along with the top feeder I should probably not use 'Honey Bee Healthy', True?
 

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If you are not going to harvest the super for your own use, it doesn't matter about the HBH. the bees will store it for themselves. I don't plan on harvesting any further this year, so my feeders are on, even though the bees are pulling in goldenrod, the air had been so dry until 2 days ago that the nectar would dry up, and they were just getting pollen for a while, so they needed fed, if I want bees to still be alive in the spring. at this time of year, honey, or nectar are for the bees. they generally won't take syrup below 55 degrees though. what's your night time temp Royal Coachman?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you are not going to harvest the super for your own use, it doesn't matter about the HBH. the bees will store it for themselves. I don't plan on harvesting any further this year, so my feeders are on, even though the bees are pulling in goldenrod, the air had been so dry until 2 days ago that the nectar would dry up, and they were just getting pollen for a while, so they needed fed, if I want bees to still be alive in the spring. at this time of year, honey, or nectar are for the bees. they generally won't take syrup below 55 degrees though. what's your night time temp Royal Coachman?

Hi,
Night time temps are normally 40's at this time with 30's not uncommon. We are supposed to have some above average temps next week. It has been above average the past week. Now it is average with highs in the low 60's
I would like to harvest some.
I have only one hive. As I said I have 3 mediums with the top 2 full.
If it is unlikely they will cap any more should I just give it to the bees with the feeder and HBH
If you think they will cap some more can I give them the super, plus the feeder w/o the HBH.
Your help is truly appreciated.
 

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You are too cold at night for syrup. I would harvest a frame or 2 of capped, moving uncapped down to fill the spot in the 3rd super. I'd freeze the rest of the uncapped and pull that top super, leaving 3 for the bees. On top, either add a lot of fondant, recipe on here, or feed dry sugar mountain camp style. Then close up
 

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If you would like to harvest the honey that passes the shake test, blend it with the capped and you should have no problems with it keeping.

If you would like to leave it for the bees to winter on, put it back on under your top feeder and feed thick 2:1 syrup so they will fill the empty frames and ripen it for safe keeping. Then it will be there on the hive when the cluster of bees needs it even when the weather is much too cold to open the hive.
 

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Ha! I may be south of you here in central Alabama. I think your advice is as valid as mine. Depends a bit on how much he wants to harvest and how much honey is stored in the (unmentioned) brood chamber below these mediums.
 

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Ha! I may be south of you here in central Alabama. I think your advice is as valid as mine. Depends a bit on how much he wants to harvest and how much honey is stored in the (unmentioned) brood chamber below these mediums.
LOL..I figured you were located in new jersey by your profile name...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
are the bees all tucked in?
Hi Gypsi,
Been really busy lately plus temps have been in the 50's til today, not been working much with the bees. We are going into another warm spell so plan on getting into them tomorrow. It is supposed to be above avg. temps again for a week. Will see what the brood looks like. Still keeping the 3rd. honey super on.
What is the advantage of fondant over moistened packed sugar?
 

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I believe in the heating process of the sugar it makes it more easily digested by the bees than just un cooked sugar...
 

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The cooking "inverts" the sugar as I understand it, and the cream of tartar lowers the pH to a better range for the bees, again, as I understand it. I have never fed plain sugar bricks or plain dry sugar. My mentor taught me to make fondant
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The cooking "inverts" the sugar as I understand it, and the cream of tartar lowers the pH to a better range for the bees, again, as I understand it. I have never fed plain sugar bricks or plain dry sugar. My mentor taught me to make fondant
Thanks to each of you!
I plan on making a candy board soon. Will the fondant work on it?
Well the wind subsided today. Its been 70's but windy, 78 today WOW!
Got into the hive today.
There are about half the capped brood that there was the last I looked. There is larva but not a lot. Gypsi, you mentioned freezing the capped brood. Should it be done no matter how much brood is in there? There is not a lot but what is to much?
I finally have the third honey super off. I managed to get the best frames out of it and into the lower supers. All should be set for winter when I put the candy board and quilt box on and then wrap it.
I am still feeding and trying the new feeder( wondering if I should start a new thread?)
The new feeder is convenient, just pop off the top cover add the feed and close. No drowning, no bees in your face. BUT, I am concerned there is not enough air through to keep the moisture out of the hive. The feeder sits on top of the center hole of the inner cover. There is a round cup over where the bees feed that has holes around the top for ventilation. I am not sure it is adequate. I could feel no sign of moisture while in the hive today but it has been warm and dry. Also, easy access for ants, they were very happy. There is a cover provided but then there would be no air passage at all. So against my better judgment I put sugar mixed with borax around the outside of the feeder on the inner cover. No more ants! I assume it could be deadly for the bees if they happen to get in there.
 

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DONT USE ANYTHING THAT CAN KILL BEES ON OR IN YOUR HIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
clean that borax off now!!!!!!!!!!! the ants can bring it right into the hive and contaminate the whole hive .....
 

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I spray used oil on the ground and grease the legs of the hive stand, the oil has little effect on the bees that land on the ground, mostly because its in the dirt below and ants and beetles live in the dirt below surface...with those temperatures still in the 70s let the brood hatch, until it starts dropping into the lower temps its not an issue...and the bees will clean up what dont hatch in time..
 

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If it is only a little brood I wouldn't be too concerned. I would do as Bob does and grease the stand, rather than putting boric acid or borax inside my hive to kill ants, because it will kill the bees. remove the inner cover lid very carefully, remove from bee area, and clean off the borax.
If you want to put borax on the ground under the hive and maybe put something over it that ants will like to get under but bees won't, that would be ok

know that a single blade of tall grass coming up from ground to touch your hive can act as an ant bridge, check for bridges.
 

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Cooking alone won't invert the sugar. It's the acid (cream of tartar) that does that. It keeps the fondant from getting hard as a rock and inedible to bees.
 
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