Slow clearing and simultaneous feeding

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dc197 

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Hello everyone
Newbie here, with a question about the slow clearing of supers while trying to feed.

I do not own an extractor and plan to rent my association's one. I can only have it for a week and I have to wait my turn, so I have to be ready for when it's available, rather than getting it when my honey is ready. It could be a fortnight between removing full frames and returning them to be licked and/or refilled. So I need all of my frames off and waiting at the point of borrowing the extractor, rather than spinning in stages.
I have removed one super's worth of frames already and have two remaining supers still on the hive. In the time since I removed the first super (approx 1 week so far) I have fed 2:1 syrup to cover the honey I've taken. They've been hungry and have taken 1 litre down in 24 hours, three times. I use a small flat feeder, I do not have a frame feeder.
I think I am ready to re-arrange the remaining two supers' frames to put the sealed ones upstairs and clear them, leaving one super's worth of frames that are not sealed still on top of the brood for winter.

Can anyone tell me, please, what is the best way to complete this slow clearing while feeding at the same time, yet not end up with frames for me that are nothing but syrup?

Many thanks

Daniel

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Mike a 

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Welcome to the forums Daniel

Personnally I wouldn't feed if I still had supers on with uncapped frames, as your colony is more inclined to take the feed instead of finishing and capping the honey, plus some of that feed is likely to be put up into the supers which will taint your honey with the sugar water feed.

Have a read of this thread about what to do with your supers once extracted.
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=6443
 
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Black Comb 

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A PH tester can be used to check if your "honey" is honey or sugar syrup.
 

dc197 

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Thanks Mike.

I am of course concerned with getting syrup into my honey, but also with starvation. It's this relatively long period between removal and returning the wet frames that worries me. Maybe I am over-fretting, as the bees seem to be still foraging well.

I was not planning to remove those frames that are currently not fully sealed, leaving them in all winter. Is this advisable? Perhaps, therefore, tainting is not too much of a problem. The finished frames (that are now just waiting for me to remove them) will not be tainted, and the half-finished ones will be eaten up before next year's harvest.

Cheers
 

oliver90owner 

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Let's think about this starvation thing. Are they using stores at the moment or are they increasing (consult hive inspection records) and if they are increasing (albeit slowly) is there any particular reason for thinklng this situation is going to change in the next two weeks?

Next, if you have the extractor for a week, why clear them down now?

Next, do you know your allotted slot with the extractor?

Next, I would say these frames are better left on the hive for as long as possible - there may be more capped by then (or at least extractable without risk of fermentation).

Solves all your problems without actually doing anything!

Worried about varroa treatment? If so, what is the mite drop at present? Will another couple of weeks make any difference?

You just seem to be making hard work of a simple job. Clear, remove, extract, replace. Job done. THEN feed if necessary.

This feeding lark with honey on the hive, and in your situation of one colony, is way OTT.

KISS principle works here, methinks.

BTW, how are you clearing the bees down? Also, you keep giving the syrup and they will take it down while there is space, hungry or not.

Regards, RAB
 

dc197 

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Hi Oliver
Yes, perhaps I am overcomplicating things. Certainly leaving the honey in place until the last moment could solve my woes.

There are three reasons why I want to existing honey off ASAP. One is robbers. There are often one or two wasps buzzing around my hive and occasionally going in (only to be booted out), and bees that look like they're trying to get in the vents, which I have not seen prior to this fortnight. I assume they're not my bees. I have no reason the believe that my colony is too weak to defend itself (it's strong) but want to have a hive that is unattractive to robbers.

The second is varroa treatment. I have my remedies ready to apply, but cannot with honey on. I dusted with icing sugar last week and the fall was 8 in the first hour, then one more in the next 2 hours, after which I removed the board (I realise now I should have counted for a full 24hrs, it was my first time).

Third is that if the forage dries up while I am waiting for the extractor, honey will be consumed. Is it not better to remove what's there now and supplement with syrup, in your opinion?


Many thanks

Daniel
 

oliver90owner 

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Robbers

Strong hive, reduced entrance (block off all except about 75-100mm). No problem.

Varroa

No problem.

Is it not better to remove what's there now

Only if the situation requires! I asked if the stores were decreasing or increasing. In your situation, the answer would be 'no'.

Regards, RAB
 

dc197 

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Thank you, Oliver

Regarding stores increasing or decreasing, my records only give me a qualitative answer. Every week during full inspections I saw more and more stores, but did not measure it quantitatively. To be honest I would not be able to tell if there is a decrease since last week, I would not know what to look for.

Maybe I should use my angler's spring balance to weigh the hive (or at least weigh ~half of it as I tip it onto two legs) each week. That would be a good addition to the routine at this time of year.


Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.
 

Brian Bush 

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Hi Dc
Where are you in Bucks. I live in Haddenham. After the recent drop of rain I am fully expecting a honeyflow as the plants currently in flower will produce a very rapid nectar flow. I was balckberrying on Saturday and noticed that the blackberries have a number of unopened flowers that may now bloom. The red flower in the ditches near us, it could be Himalayan balsam, I do not know, is a favorite with the bees as well. Don't worry about feeding is my advice and if you are a member of Mbbka then I could possibly loan you an extractor for a small fee.(I usually only do this for attractive young women!!)
Brian
 

Mike a 

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Don't worry about feeding is my advice and if you are a member of Mbbka then I could possibly loan you an extractor for a small fee.(I usually only do this for attractive young women!!)
Brian
:smilielol5:

Time to pull out that dress again Daniel, so Brian can loan you his extractor when your supers are capped.
:rofl:
 

dc197 

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Hi Brian
I am in north Milton Keynes so am a member of North Bucks BKA from whom I have the extractor booked. Thanks for the offer of the hire of your extractor but you and I live a bit far apart to drive.
Re: pretty girls; a man after my own heart :)
DC
 

oliver90owner 

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Qulitative is perfectly good enough. Same answer as a quantitative one but not needed (definitive value would not help any further).

Increasing means the colony is collecting more than they are consuming. End of story really; if they continue as they are, with or without supers, with or without feed they will not be starving unless the conditions/forage alter for the worse. That is your job (to feed if necessary), if you choose the deny them access to their hard won stores.

Regards, RAB
 

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