Early Honey Harvest?

  • 29 Jun 2018 10:06 AM
    Reply # 6350261 on 6337316

    Ron, Sounds like you have happy bees!  I started counting mites every four to six weeks last summer, and treating the ones that needed it, and not treating the ones that did not (MAQS).  I have introduced some purchased queens last year and this that are supposed to be mite resistant either by VSH or maybe some other means.  I also have tried to requeen those hives that have consistently high mite counts with the new queens.  I did have some problems (myself and others who went in with me to purchase the queens)with those same queens failing-hives going queenless, perhaps they were not well mated- not enough sperm.  So far they, and their daughters this year, have done a fairly good job of controlling mites in their colonies. I think harvesting at this time is fine if you have surplus. I have a few hives in the Willamette valley that I will bring back in a few weeks and they have some blackberry honey on them that I intend to harvest then.  I wish I had a spot in central Oregon that produced a surplus in the spring, the best I can seem to do most of the time is build up hives (and swarms) to full strength just in time for a nectar dearth in mid to late June. Here's to a great mid to late summer nectar flow!

    Dennis

  • 23 Jun 2018 4:05 PM
    Message # 6337316

    I'm trying something different this year and just for fun, thought I'd toss out the idea to see what people think.  So don't be afraid to jump in with your thoughts.  Hopefully we can all gain some insight from a discussion. 

    Each year I have a few huge colonies that are amazing to see and produce lots of honey, but they are also the most difficult to successfully winter because they produce tons of mites as well.  Right now I have six colonies that have five boxes on them.  One deep and four mediums.  I don't use queen excluders so over the spring I have pulled the fresh new comb/honey up to the top box.  (no, not all these boxes were added at once)  The fourth box is about half full of honey and brood and the first, second and third boxes are full of bees.  Imagine, a deep and two and a half mediums full of bees!!  That's pretty cool in itself!  I know from past experience, at the sites where these colonies are located, that a significant amount of backfilling will take place between now and the end of July - mostly clover nectar.  All that to say I don't have worries about having enough stores put away if I remove the top box of honey.

    Seems logical that I could remove honey in the top box soon and begin some early mite treatments.  (I've done counts and these hives run anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent.)  Hopefully this would make it easier to get a handle on mites in August. 

    I welcome thoughts and ideas. 

     

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