Year 2 with bees finished and making plans for year 3

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Duck1968, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Duck1968

    Duck1968 New Member

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    Last year I started 2- 4 lb. packages on April 16th. Each hive had 4 draw deep frames from my first year dead out. Each hive quickly drew out 2 deep 10 frame boxes with 11- 1 1/4†foundationless frames, some of the combs were not the straightest because I did not check them enough and one crocked comb leads to another (corn and soybean farming got in the way of beekeeping in April and May). By early June I started putting medium supers on. The first super on each hive had Duragilt foundation. The next super on each hive I checker boarded the drawn frames in the first super with foundationless frames. By the end of September I had 2 supers on one hive and 3 on the other that were mostly filled, but I did not have a single frame that was more than 40% capped. Then the harvest of soybeans and corn started and I never found the time to get back to the hives to take any honey. Last week had a few days close to 50* and both were busy with cleansing flights. It looks like they are coming thru the mild winter fairly well.

    I am now making plans for year three with bees. I am going to order 2 more 4 lb. packages for April. I have been making the wooden ware for 8 more 10 frame hives and 10 5 frame nucs. With splits and a swarm catch or two I hope to go into next winter with 6 full size hives and 6 to 8 nucs.

    Now I need to figure out if it was something that I did wrong or just the humid weather that keep the bees from drying the honey down. And since both hives still have the supers on them in January and no excluders between the brood nest and supers. Should I try to get the supers off as soon as weather permits or wait till end of March or early April to deal with them?

    Brian
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    wet honey may be the product of either nectar source or location (and usually both of these).

    here (of course much different from nebraska) I typically pull honey after a couple of weeks of hot and dry (low air humidity) weather.
     

  3. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Bees use ventilation to dry honey before capping. Outside temperature 27C and RH 59 are ideal conditions.
    However if honey is capped and moisture content in honey is above 18 it still can go bad - ferment.
    Honey in supers can be dried in hot room till it reach 17.8 moisture (first class in Canada) then extracted.
    It's good to have a refractormeter.
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Sometimes as you get close to the end of your flow, (possibly Sept in you area?) the bees will stop capping the honey if they have a sense that it will be needed soon. Why go to all the trouble of capping everything 100%, a waste of energy at some point. They may well have the honey down to an acceptable moisture level and simply wish to conserve energy. The old rule when extracting honey, only do so if frames are 80 or 90% capped is a safe one, but does not neccesarily mean a frame with less cappings is also not ready to be harvested. A moisture meter (refractometer) is a more certain method but most probably use the "shake" method, hold the frame level with the ground and shake it. If nothing drips out it is probably safe to harvest.
     
  5. Duck1968

    Duck1968 New Member

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    Thanks, I will look into a refractormeter.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Try shopping for your refractometer on the internet. When you see the difference in prices from the regular bee-equipment suppliers you'll be shocked. :eek: :shock: