Hive inspection capped vs uncapped honey/ hive beetles

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Michbeeman63, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    I inspected my 3 hives for capped honey stores today. Looks like I have around 10-13 gallons of honey, based on my math. One hive has some frames that were drawn out late and were about half full of capped honey. The other parts of the same frame was not drawn out. Some frames in the middle were nearly fully capped and others were not.
    I remember that if the honey is 70 percent capped it can be harvested. I have a super that has some capped and some uncapped. Being it is end of september and there seems to be some flow left, would you recommend leaving it to allow the honey to fully cap? How much time would you wait? Unfortunely I don't have a refractometer to measure the amount of moisture. maybe a good investment. I understand if you shake the hive and the honey doesn't drip out it is good too. Not scientific.

    Do you ever pull out the fully capped and put the uncapped back in to finish in the hive? Will the bees work these frames or start working on the frames that were already spun out? I thought about segregating my frames and keeping the fully capped ones seperate, and then taking the less capped ones so it won't all spoil if its too moist. Could use this for some mead which wouldn't matter.

    Finally, I saw some hive beetles in one of my hives? This hive was a split and I lost a hive that went queenless mid summer. Any recommendations on how to treat for this?

    I know there are lot of questions, but I am still learning

    appreciate any help.
     
  2. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Extracting uncapped nectar/honey without a refractometer is a gamble. The bees will need as much food as brood for the winter. You might want to consider their survival.
    Small hive beetles will quickly vanish with winter approaching. You should still use beetle traps as long as you can work the hive. A dark cover is good for beetles and hive warmth right now.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Looks like I have around 10-13 gallons of honey

    tecumseh...
    10 gallons X 12#/gallon should equal about 120 pounds of honey. here that would be a bit too much to leave but at your location it would sound to be about the right quantity to leave for winter stores. I do not know about your temperatures but in most places the beginning of colder temperatures especially at night will mean getting the honey out of the comb will become more and more difficult.
     
  4. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think he means he has estimated 10-13 gallons altogether between his 3 hives.
     
  5. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Understanding uncapped honey and the way bees store nectar.
    As bees bring in nectar they store it in cells and ripen (lower moisture content) the will then add more nectar to the cell and ripen so a cell that is 80% full will be mostly ripe honey and the last small bit of nectar still being ripened. The amount of cells in area in the hive is in relation to the amount of nectar coming in that needs to be ripened before more nectar can be added. The bees will move honey to cells so they can be caped over when full.
    As the bees are capping frames of honey the honey in the open cells will have mostly ripe honey in them and the bees are waiting for the cells to be filled before capping them. any frames that are 75% capped should be alright for extracting. With supers if the total frame average is above 75% extract it.
    Don't separate your frames you will then run in to the possibility that the honey from all uncapped will be to high.
     
  6. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    Yes, this is for all three hives. I am leaving two full deeps undisturbed for the winter. I am going to leave at least 70 -90 lbs on each hive. One hive has a deep that came from a hive that went queenless mid summer. about 6 frames in a deep fully capped, the 2nd hive has two shallows that are each about 6 frames partially capped each, and the last one is a 9 frame full deep plus a super that is about 6 frames capped.

    Is it a good strategy to pull off the full capped, and extract, and seperate the partially capped incase it is too moist. Wanted to make some mead and this would give me an excuse. Don't think the moisture level is important for mead.
     
  7. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    ApisBees,

    thank you for the detailed response. Much appreciated. Think I am going to buy one of those moisture meters anyway for some confidence.
     
  8. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    Do you recommend making some traps for the hive beetles with the political signs and boric acid? If so, would you put in all three hives since they all most likely have the beetles. They are close togeter.

    Not sure what is meant by a dark cover? Is this to draw the beetles to the top of the hive for heat? My lids are made of shiny aluminum so Maybe black paint is in order.
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    They have some advertised on this forum (Blue Sky bee supply). They are about $75 and from another thread the opinion is they are considered to be a good product.
    I even think Iddee has one. No need to get anything more expensive (ask me :roll:).
    The piece of mind is worth it. :wink:
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It's not the hive that you shake. Take out the frames in question, hold them flat over the hive and shake. If "honey" comes out, that means it's not ripe. Properly concentrated honey, even if the cells are open, won't shake out.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    thanks Omie and Michbeeman for the clarification. so if my math is correct divide by 3 this should be about 43# of honey/hive. this would be about right for here but 'sounds' awfully meager for Michigan.
     
  12. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    Tecumseh,

    I don't understand your comment. I have 3 hives with surplus above two deep brood boxes. The surplus I estimate at about 10-12 gallons based on 5 gallons for a packed deep, and 3 for a honey super. I believe the top deep brood is full on each and that gives me about 50 lbs of honey plus some in the bottom. I plan to do a more thorough inspection to understand how much feeding I may need to do over the winter. Am I missing something.

    Mike
     
  13. Michbeeman63

    Michbeeman63 New Member

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    efmesch,

    thanks for that clarification. So if you had a frame of honey and you shake it firmly, as long as the honey stays in the cells it is ok to extract.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a michbeeman63 snip..
    I don't understand your comment.

    tecumseh:
    I am just trying to get the math right in trying to figure out how much honey you have on the hives as we are quickly approaching winter. If individually a hive is short on provision then I would guess the time you have from now to the first hard cold spell is growing short to get some extra provision into the hives. here of course the absolute quantity required to overwinter a hive is fairly low (say about 50 pounds) but in most places 'up north' twice as much honey may be required to get a hive thru the winter months (say 90 to 100 pounds). here we can feed along all winter long but the further north you go this option of feeding thru the winter months is no longer advisable. reasonable if you still take some honey off then there is that much more you need to add back and the clock continues to wind down.

    another snip...
    I believe the top deep brood is full on each and that gives me about 50 lbs of honey plus some in the bottom. I plan to do a more thorough inspection to understand how much feeding I may need to do over the winter. Am I missing something.

    tecumseh:
    sounds like (guessing for certain) that you are assuming there is honey in the top deep and assuming some more about provisions in the bottom box? fessin' up.... I have on several occasion made the same assumption here only to find out a bit later that my assumption was very very wrong.... which is to say that in some significant percentage the bottom box may be absolutely empty of anything besides a bit of pollen. a fairly through inspection (which you seem to be planning) should prove if this assumption is correct or not.
     
  15. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    You got it. :grin: