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Unripe honey storage?

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Floss 

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I have one hive with a super on with very little capped honey (when I peep they have capped/uncapped/ capped again!).

I am assuming that they are needing to use these stores but I do want to get some varroa treatment on asap.

I have a clearing board insitu.

Question : Sadly it looks like no honey this year and I assume that most of what is in these frame is unripened. If so, will it be alright to store this super (in the dry) for 4 weeks and then put back on for bees to clear?

If there is any ripe honey I hope to take a little but I am reluctant to destroy any comb in the process having a shortage of drawn frames....

Many thanks

Floss
 

winmag270 

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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
your best bet is to do a "shake test"

take a frame, hold it at 45 degrees and shake vigourously

if you see droplets falling from the frame onto the bars of the ones below, it is unripened, if the contents of the cells remains in the cells it is likely to be uncapped ripened honey

where you say capped / uncapped / capped again, probably gives an indication that the bees are using the honey as and when required......
 

Arfermo 

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Floss,
I suggest you get any supers off and immediately start Apiguard treatment before the weather turns cold enough to lessen the impact of the treatment - or even stop it operating at all if it get cold enough. When you do the treatment, put the tray in the mesh floor and stuff the rear space with foam or whatever and reduce the entrance to about 2" and leave it alone for 2 weeks, then do the 2nd stage. When the treatment is finished, put the supers back on if you wish. Using Apiguard early ensures the bees go into the late season in good fettle - but Oxalic acid at Xmas is also a must so as to carry them through next season. You may well lose the benefit of any himalayan balsam or other honey harvest but what is that compared with a debillitated colony which fails. Besides, the bees will benefit from it themselves anyway.
I am in Shropshire too and put Apiguard into all my brood and a half hives a week ago!!! When the Apiguard has done its job (4 weeks) I will put the half B/B below the main one as that is the one the bees will eat first (usually) as it is the one that is in the coldest part of the hive. This will conserve the stores in the main B/B adjacent to where the cluster will be in the warmest part during the winter. The cluster will be up top without having to contend with a break between the frames below and above.
 

rae 

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If they're marginal on the stores now, I'd leave the super on and give them the apiguard - they can consume the honey over the winter, and you can get them to clean out the super next spring.

We harvested two weeks ago, anything they manage to get in the next 2 months is theirs, which might reduce the sugar bill.

They know winter is coming, they're propping everything in sight and have hugely reduced the brood nests.
 

oliver90owner 

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Floss,

Sadly it looks like no honey this year

If you really want a little you could take some. Warm and drain if no spinner. Just store it in the freezer to prevent fermentation, if too much moisture, or dry by the aforementioned methods given in previous threads.

Then feed heavily, to refill the combs, when they are replaced after the varroa treatment.

Regards, RAB
 

Floss 

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Thank you all for your replies - all helpful.

The porter bee escapes actually did the job this year and the super was completely free yesterday after 24hrs! It had less honey than a few days ago! When I checked the brood most space seems taken up with brood and eggs!

Never fear Arfermo, I have my Apivar on now! I am near the Severn and the Balsam is out but I am happy to lose any honey for myself if it will help!

I am going to feed because they are so short although they had more pollen than the other colonies. My other colonies are building up and have had Apivar on for over a week and are taking feed no probs. This particular colony swarmed in July and I guess they are using space to build up again although I would assume She is laying less now? Lots of eggs though!

Many tx, Floss

ps RAB I will try and take some of the honey from the super - I should get a pinch!
 

oliver90owner 

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Floss,

It had less honey than a few days ago!

Two possibles are:
1) They have a negative foraging balance, or
1) The 'fullness' you saw a few days ago was 'nectar' and is now 'honey'.

If it were capped and has been uncapped (and reduced) it will be option 1). In that case it will likely be ripened honey, unless they again are collecting a surplus.

The 'honey arch' above the brood will be where you will be able to tell re the foraging returns. Narrow and possibly a surplus; wide and likely a deficit situation. That would be in addition to a 'shake' test on the super frames.

All these things to note are extra signs showing the state of the hive. Not so important most of the time, but very useful indicators when conditions are marginal.

Regards, RAB

Regards, RAB
 

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