OSR action plan post extraction

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Joined
Jul 6, 2019
Messages
67
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Location
Belfast
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
9
Hello all. I post this feeling very apprehensive re what course of action to take with supers filling with OSR. I have 3 towering hives on a fenced and highly netted allotment allocation. This seems to keep bees up and away from gardeners, although as time goes on I do fear issues once the flow ceases. On t'other side of hedge, 4 acres of OSR. I can see a little capping (returning today to do a bit of frame shaking). I have a warming cabinet built as per "The Apiarist's" excellent instructions. Now.... I'm literally losing sleep over what happens next. Given that this stuff sets in comb, I assume that I attempt to get ALL the supers off, home quickly and extracted. I can deal with the processing but... what then to do with the empties AND will I now have crazed starving bees ready to have a go at allotmenteers? The dandelions seem to be largely over, the nearby sycamore is a long way from blooming. I'd be so grateful for a talk through of options as I can't find any beekeepers here who have harvested OSR in N Ireland. Btw one tower is demareed, one is a vertical split and one is "as is" so far (older queen). The green patchiness hasn't yet started to appear in the sea of yellow but I'm trying to think ahead.
 
Options are yours. Some extract a super at a time, as it is capped, and then wait for next one. When I was in OSR territory ( on other side of UK to you), I would wait until the crop largely went over, then take them off in one hit. I would extract immediately. Some would have set, some frames would be too wet but simply were all put back on for bees to clean out. Never had problems with this causing the summer crop to crystallise prematurely.
By the way, mine never went feisty when the crop finished, but I used to select for gentle bees anyway
 
Options are yours. Some extract a super at a time, as it is capped, and then wait for next one. When I was in OSR territory ( on other side of UK to you), I would wait until the crop largely went over, then take them off in one hit. I would extract immediately. Some would have set, some frames would be too wet but simply were all put back on for bees to clean out. Never had problems with this causing the summer crop to crystallise prematurely
Thank you so much for quick response. Did you try and get everything off ie every frame with osr in it? I've never dared take a spring crop before as scared of starvation in June gap. I take it that it's unwise to leave them full osr frames as it just sets? Did you have issues removing so much food from big colonies ie did they go a bit fiesty? It's also the idea of sunsequent starvation that I'm not quite sure how to approach. Whatever transpires its a bit of an adventure. Good to experience something different.
 
I extract mine on petal fall for osr which is usually the last week in June I bank supers until then and have minimal frames that have set probably a good mix well I know it is mixed dandelion spring blossom and osr , if there is other good sources of forage like dandelions and fruit tree/ chestnut/maple etc. in your area ? And not just arable fields for miles and then fields of osr you would be able to tell if your osr honey is more pure and more than likely set in the frames quicker.

I’ve read on here that some folk will extract as soon as it’s capped your call and area specific.

Edit supers are put back for the bees to clean up and I’ve not noticed any aggression when the osr finishes .
 
Not a lot of sense to leave OSr on, although in dire need they will use it. Never had a "June gap" where I was. If on inspection after removal you feel they are in dire need of feeding, then you could always do a little and often. Mind you, bees are actually good at fending for themselves
 
Options are yours. Some extract a super at a time, as it is capped, and then wait for next one. When I was in OSR territory ( on other side of UK to you), I would wait until the crop largely went over, then take them off in one hit. I would extract immediately. Some would have set, some frames would be too wet but simply were all put back on for bees to clean out. Never had problems with this causing the summer crop to crystallise prematurely.
By the way, mine never went feisty when the crop finished, but I used to select for gentle bees anyway
Thats all very reassuring. I do have "lovely" bees and rarely need smoke so I shall hope that all will be well. Many thanks!
 
I extract mine on petal fall for osr which is usually the last week in June I bank supers until then and have minimal frames that have set probably a good mix well I know it is mixed dandelion spring blossom and osr , if there is other good sources of forage like dandelions and fruit tree/ chestnut/maple etc. in your area ? And not just arable fields for miles and then fields of osr you would be able to tell if your osr honey is more pure and more than likely set in the frames quicker.

I’ve read on here that some folk will extract as soon as it’s capped your call and area specific.
supers are put back for the bees to clean up and I’ve not noticed any aggression when the osr finishes .

Options are yours. Some extract a super at a time, as it is capped, and then wait for next one. When I was in OSR territory ( on other side of UK to you), I would wait until the crop largely went over, then take them off in one hit. I would extract immediately. Some would have set, some frames would be too wet but simply were all put back on for bees to clean out. Never had problems with this causing the summer crop to crystallise prematurely.
By the way, mine never went feisty when the crop finished, but I used to select for gentle bees anyway
I did have quite a bit of dandelion going in a few weeks back but these do largely seem to have gone over. I'm seeing a very consistent pollen colour with most workers dabbed between the eyes with that OSR "pattern". The fields are on the outskirts of town so it's a bit of a green desert although there are a number of mature sycamores coming into bloom. Not much else! I think it's going to be a "monitor closely" situation re capping and frame shaking. Weather's taken an upturn this week and I've got supers already with considerable heft to them. Thank you for the reassurance this gives. Having bees so close to allotments is never ideal so this year is very much an experiment as I'm trialling 3 different spots. Feeling a lot less edgy!
 
I'd suggest extraction before it's capped, purely based on the shake test.

Test moisture content when extracting to be sure.

Once extracted, supers back on and let the honey set in the buckets for a few weeks. Then there are various threads on here about next steps. I rewarm to 35°C then use a paddle mixer for a good few minutes, which tends to give a nice soft set, then jar.
 
I'd suggest extraction before it's capped, purely based on the shake test.

Test moisture content when extracting to be sure.

Once extracted, supers back on and let the honey set in the buckets for a few weeks. Then there are various threads on here about next steps. I rewarm to 35°C then use a paddle mixer for a good few minutes, which tends to give a nice soft set, then jar.
That's fab. Thank you. I've even bought the paddle (need the DRILL now - hubby rolling eyes at my constant spending)! I have refractometer at the ready and actually now looking forward to tinkering with something different. I think I've read every shred of advice re the OSR on this forum. It's such a great resource.
 
What a cracking looking cat!
Isn't he? We were "gifted" him. Full blooded Maine Coon. Last owner had a change of circumstances and we had his brother (plus 2 others). I didn't plan on FOUR large indoor cats wrecking my house but they are such a funny dog-like breed. He has a black zig zag at the back of his head and odd coloured eyes here the name "Ziggy". Which shows my age.
 

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