Hard set frames.

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New Bee
Jun 27, 2021
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Brittany, France
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Morning all,
Last year was the first that I had the opportunity to take any honey but decided to leave the super and a half of capped frames as a winter feed for the bees. I last checked them in november when they seemed to be fine and healthy. I did my first inspection a week ago and the hive was dead. Not a single live bee. The honey in the capped supers seems very dense and appears crystalised. I have tried to extract but the honey seems too hard to flow. I filled the extractor with the frames and left it outside in the sun hoping that the heat would loosen it up a bit - but no joy. Is there a way of extracting it or should I just keep them for feeding later on.
Many thanks for any tips.
Lots of honeys will set rock hard over winter but commonly it’s ivy, you’d have to melt the whole lot to extract. They can be kept for feed.

So any ideas why they died, did you treat in the Autumn?
Thanks for the reply. I have no idea why they died. I looked up on t'internet but couldn't find a definitive answer. There were a few dead ones on the frames but the rest were in the bottom. I did notice though that there certainly weren't as many bodies as I saw at my last inspection in the autumn. Maybe they weren't strong enough. I never treated them for Varroa by the way.
Going back to the honey, I also tried to warm up a couple of frames on a tray above the woodburner. When I thought they were warm enough i span them in the extractor but one of them must have been too warm and the whole frame's worth just came off!
I have a solar wax extractor. If I put a couple of frames in there at a time will only the wax melt off or the honey too? If I end up heating the frames to get what honey I can, will it be edible? I have seen certain posts that claim it is only suitable for cooking with.
To be honest anything you melt in a solar extractor won’t be edible or more correctly I’d doubt you’d want to!
Treat your bees in the Autumn, varroa very likely played its part. We appear to have a number that haven’t and are loosing/lost bees! It’s no surprise… You won’t cure all ills by treating but you will prevent a huge stress factor on the hive and remove the cause of a large percentage of losses. There are enough other reasons to suffer colony losses but control the 1s you can!!!

There’s plenty here that will freely advise and options on treatments, if your not sure just ask!
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