Late season honey crop?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by bamabww, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    I only had honey (for me) in one of my two hives when I harvested in late August. Both hives had two full brood chambers with honey, pollen and developing larvae, eggs etc. The hive without any extra honey to harvest was from a swarm I got late June and I didn't know if they would have the time or flow to produce honey for harvest and they didn't. The hive was busy and healthy with no problems that I could see present. So I left them alone but left the empty super on top just for their use.

    The other hive produced 18 pounds of honey on 7 frames which was a little below what fellow club members harvested for our area with our prolonged drought and heat wave of June - July. But it was my first crop and I was pleased with the result and taste.

    I left both hives with an empty super, bare foundation, after I harvested the honey the last week of August. I did smear honey on each side of the foundation to encourage them to use it. The frames I harvested are stored in the freezer waiting for the next cycle when I'll install them in the honey super for next year's crop.

    I checked the hives yesterday and was surprised to find both honey supers have 7 or 8 frames of 90% capped honey with bees working each frame. The two bottom boxes are still full so I believe my bees have hit a jackpot in the last 6 weeks or so and produced a second crop of honey to harvest.

    With the bottom two boxes full on both hives, I believe they have enough stores to make it through a normal Alabama winter.

    So my questions are:
    Am I correct thinking the honey in the top super is "mine" to harvest at this late time of year?

    Will putting an empty super on the hive now give the bees too much space and encourage shb to take over?

    Thanks,
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Set the top box off and lift the remaining hive. If it is all you can do, or you can't lift it, then harvest.

    If it isn't near 80 to 100 lbs., return the super and let them keep it.
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Everyone should be troubled by your problem :thumbsup:
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Wayne snip..
    But it was my first crop and I was pleased with the result and taste.

    tecumseh:
    well first off congratulation on your first harvest. I know the path has not been easy so enjoy your reward.

    to somewhat reinforce Iddee statement above.... you really want to make certain that the bottom of the stack is not dry empty. most times I can determine this from tipping the hive at the front or back. if you cannot do the same then dismantling the hive to make certain the bottom box is full prior to or at the same time you consider taking off the honey.
     
  5. bamabww

    bamabww New Member

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    I set the top box off both hives and could not lift the bottom two together on either hive. I broke the second box loose from the bottom just to make sure and could barely lift it, just barely. I feel confident the bottom two are full enough that will allow me to do just as you and Tecumseh advised.

    Thanks, I was hoping that's what you'd say.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    this is (was) a great opportunity to get the 'feel' as to when a stack is heavy vs bone dry. once you have 'the feel' in your head it is not so difficult to just tip the stack and pretty much know when the bottom box is empty.

    good luck...