How much honey can I take?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by BeepsBees, Aug 11, 2016.

  1. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    So... I have a TBH. I went through it yesterday( not the whole thing) and the left side has one bar that is almost a Full comb of capped honey!! Just the bottom part is uncapped. How do I know when it's OK to take a bar of honey away? I emagine the other side may have a full bar of capped or almost all capped honey too, but I'll have to look. To take honey I have to cut the whole comb off the bar... I cut a small section of the second comb in That had some wonky comb, but that's it & it was uncapped honey but still all honey and no eggs. I know you can't take ALL their honey because they need some to eat and some for the winter. So how do I know when and how much I can take from them and when to stop and not take any? Thanks!!
     
  2. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    You need to leave much less honey than I do because your bees fly all winter. You also can feed sugar syrup if they get light, which I can't. With that in mind if you want some honey for yourself, you can harvest one of the combs and feed them this winter if they get low. Just a thought. Maybe Gypsi will chime in, she's from the south or buzzed.
     

  3. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I don't know anything about top bar hives. I would think you could take at least a full bar when it is ready to cut. I would think in your location could always take 1/2 to 2/3rds of whatever is capped.

    As far south as you are, your bees will fly through the winter. I have no idea how their population or production will fluctuate. The good news is that they can forage- and I am assuming there will be something to forage all year on the Cape; the bad news is they use a lot more energy, so they need stores.

    So much of beekeeping is localized. And-- if I remember correctly-- this is your first year. I don't think you will know until you get through the first year and see. You are very vigilant, so I am quiet sure the bees will be fine.
     
  4. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    I took some. It was a slight disaster. My smoker went out toward the end. I smAshed some bees and I just felt awful. They where just everywhere and trying to lap up the honey. The divider was hard to move over with all of them around because there are so many sides to it where they can get smashed. So.... Some got smashed as much as I try not to. It felt like a mess :( I still have a lot to learn. I got some honey. I started on the side I hadn't looked at because I figured it would have a bar of honey like the other side. But it didn't. It had a few small pieces and the brood nest started. So I did take a small chunk on that side then I went to the other side where I originally saw honey and took a bar of that. I just had trouble getting them out of the way as much as I tried to move slowly and wiggle the bars back so they'd move. I had butter fingers at times. I feel awful. I'll always try to do a better job the next time. I need to find something besides hay for my smoker because it goes out before I'm done & it's hard to corral them away from and area I'm trying to close up. It was awful seeing the ones I smashed. I felt like I created a disaster for them. Not the hippie experience I emagined. I'll research more and try better next time. I won't be stealing honey for a long time now or until necessary. I have some to give as gifts now. What do I do with the bottom part of comb that is empty cells and a few pollen stores? Also what can I do with the comb I crush and don't use inside my honey jars? How can I store the wax that I don't put in jars?
     
  5. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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    I took some. It was a slight disaster. My smoker went out toward the end. I smAshed some bees and I just felt awful. They where just everywhere and trying to lap up the honey. The divider was hard to move over with all of them around because there are so many sides to it where they can get smashed. So.... Some got smashed as much as I try not to. It felt like a mess :( I still have a lot to learn. I got some honey. I started on the side I hadn't looked at because I figured it would have a bar of honey like the other side. But it didn't. It had a few small pieces and the brood nest started. So I did take a small chunk on that side then I went to the other side where I originally saw honey and took a bar of that. I just had trouble getting them out of the way as much as I tried to move slowly and wiggle the bars back so they'd move. I had butter fingers at times. I feel awful. I'll always try to do a better job the next time. I need to find something besides hay for my smoker because it goes out before I'm done & it's hard to corral them away from and area I'm trying to close up. It was awful seeing the ones I smashed. I felt like I created a disaster for them. Not the hippie experience I emagined. I'll research more and try better next time. I won't be stealing honey for a long time now or until necessary. I have some to give as gifts now. What do I do with the bottom part of comb that is empty cells and a few pollen stores? Also what can I do with the comb I crush and don't use inside my honey jars? How can I store the wax that I don't put in jars?
     
  6. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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  7. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    That's the way we all learn, Beep. So, how does it taste?

    There will be other opinions, but after you crash and strain, I would just put the wax out about 2 car lengths away from the hive and let the bees clean it up for a day or two. Save it in a coffee can or the like. I am sure you will chose a way to melt and use it in good time.

    Smoker fuel is also an individual choice. Burlap is one of the longer lasting... I just use paper out of the shredder and reload when needed. But the real answer is that you will learn to work faster.

    ‚ÄčIt will all come in time. You did fine.
     
  8. BeepsBees

    BeepsBees Member

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  9. camero7

    camero7 Member

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    Smoker issues... you need some coals in the bottom of the smoker to make it last. I use rotten wood, which I dry in the shop, in small pieces which I light with a torch. Once they are burning well, I stuff the smoker full of pine needles or grass clippings. If I'm working many hives I put some wood pellets in the bottom with the wood, then my smoker will last pretty much all day. I may have to replace the grass in the afternoon. Beeps, you shouldn't need much for one hive but you need to have those coals in the bottom. I suspect that's why your smoker went out. You can use some small dry sticks broken up into small pieces and light them with a torch, then you'll be set to go into that hive and have a lit smoker when you need it.