Fondant vs Full Super

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Beedogg 

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I've three colonies, in two of which I've taken off the supers and am now feeding with syrup, laterly fondant. On the third hive I had left on a part-filled super on having more or less given up hope of the bees capping the honey in it. That decision coincided with putting Apivar strips into the colonies and I believe that the notes suggest that the honey shouldn't be used for humans once the colony is treated with Apivar.

I peeked in the other day to remove the strips after 6-8 weeks and found that the super is now more or less full of capped honey. Three questions: 1) is it correct that that honey shouldn't be taken off and consumed?; and, 2) if so and if left on, is that super likely to last the bees all winter? And finally if it does last until the sping and is not fully consumed, is there a risk that they start re-filling it with un-Apivared honey in the spring and I end up with a mix?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes yes and you can’t use the super for any honey at all
 

Patrick1 

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The wax will also get contaminated by the chemicals you add to the colony, therefor you should melt down the wax and make some candles maybe, just follow the manufacturers guidelines
 

drdrday 

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Plus, since you've been feeding syrup and fondant whilst the half-filled - now full - super was on, even without the Apivar, you probably wouldn't have wanted to consume it since it won't be real honey.
 

Beedogg 

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Supplementary question: I've currently left the QE on. Should it be off now? And if so why?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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bees can get through the Queen Excluder, the queen (obviously) can't in the winter when there is no more food left in the brood box and the cluster needs to get into the super to use the stores, they will not leave the queen behind therefore they will just sit below the QX and starve to death.
 

Beedogg 

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Ah I see. I hadn't realised that the whole cluster would move up into the super at some stage. I'll take it out.
 

Amari 

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bees can get through the Queen Excluder, the queen (obviously) can't in the winter when there is no more food left in the brood box and the cluster needs to get into the super to use the stores, they will not leave the queen behind therefore they will just sit below the QX and starve to death.
I was taught differently on my beginners' course (1972): when there is no more food in the BB the bees will follow the food and cluster in the super, leaving the queen behind in the BB, starved and cold.
Obviously I cannot pontificate from my own observation as I've always removed the QX in autumn.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I was taught differently on my beginners' course (1972): when there is no more food in the BB the bees will follow the food and cluster in the super, leaving the queen behind in the BB, starved and cold.
Obviously I cannot pontificate from my own observation as I've always removed the QX in autumn.
they taught a lot of things in those courses..................................
I haven't experienced it but I spoke to an experienced beekeeper some years ago (SBI in fact) who admitted that once he had overlooked a QX at one apiary and had lost the colony due to them not crossing the QX and abandoning the queen.
It's pretty logical really, the colony only functions with a viable queen, the cluster exists to protect her (they always keep her in the middle) so why would they abandon her?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Even if they did abandon the queen the end result is the same
 

hemo 

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I must admit I forgot about removing a QX and a late super three or four years ago from one colony, fortunately the Q survived and the bees stayed with her. They had enough stores in the BB to suffice.
 

oliver90owner 

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I must admit I forgot about removing a QX and a late super three or four years ago from one colony, fortunately the Q survived and the bees stayed with her. They had enough stores in the BB to suffice.
That simply demonstrates (not proves) that a full deep box was adequate stores for your bees, in your area, on that occasion. A full deep is regarded as sufficient stores for most bees most of the time. That avoids lots of sugar syrup being present in an early season crop.

With 14 x12 frames, I found that the bees did not need winter feeding (very often), often allowing frames of stores to be replaced with drawn comb in the spring, thus allowing lots of brooding space in spring. Obviously less risk of leaving a Q/E in either.

Frames of honey stores (as opposed to sugar syrup) were easily returned to colonies later in spring/summer.
 

Beedogg 

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That does raise the question: what do I do in the spring if the colony hasn't finished the stores in the super? I presumably need to take out any frames of uneaten honey that, because of the Apivar application, is not fit for human consumption, and before they start filling it with honey that is 'clean'. How best to judge that point?
 

hemo 

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Judge that point once fresh nectar is seen being laid up, one then can remove any over wintered super frames and save the stores for winter or during a dearth.
 

Murox 

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That does raise the question: what do I do in the spring if the colony hasn't finished the stores in the super? I presumably need to take out any frames of uneaten honey that, because of the Apivar application, is not fit for human consumption, and before they start filling it with honey that is 'clean'. How best to judge that point?
Doesn't Apivar usually get placed in the brood area and when no supers are present ??
 

Beedogg 

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But it's my first year and I was caught out by the volume of late stores that were put into the super. I simply hadn't expected them to fill it. In retrospect I shouldn't have left it on. Hey ho... lesson learned.
 

Murox 

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Ok. if you leave them in the hive over winter just mark every frame so you know which ones are potentially tainted.
 
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