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Spring honey harvest.

 
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semiautonomous
Nurse Bee


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 44
Location: England, Shropshire, Shrewsbury

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject: Spring honey harvest. Reply with quote

Hi all,

So my three colonies seem to have come through the winter alright in their two htbhs. I started seeing them for the first time this year a week or two back and with it being suddenly warm (around 10c/15c) and sunny the last couple of days they are all out in force foraging on the early flowering shrubs in the garden!

Because it was their first year with me last year and I generally wont to leave them to their own devices as much as possible I didn’t take a honey harvest from them last year planning to just take what they didn’t need after the winter, I remember reading something about this in one of Phil’s books. Well now its warmed up again I’m wondering when and how exactly to go about it? Should I have a look now and take some to give them room or leave them alone till the spring really gets going? I’m wary of disturbing them and it then going cold again. Does anyone have any advice?

Many thanks, Duncan
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1573
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Duncan

It is early yet to be thinking of taking any stores from them.

Firstly they will be starting to rear brood in earnest now and that is when they really dig into their winter stores. Rearing brood takes lot of food and energy. So whilst they may not have used much through the winter mionths, now they will start to consume considerably more.

Secondly, whilst there is pollen available from a number of flowers, there is still very little nectar for them to harvest, so whatever you take cannot be replaced yet and we may get a spell of cold weather when they can't get out to forage.

Better to wait until the first real nectar flow is starting.... usually dandelions.... and then remove whatever capped excess there is.

Regards

Barbara
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R Payne
Foraging Bee


Joined: 11 Apr 2011
Posts: 123
Location: USA, Kansas, Wichita

PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have the experience of many here, I've had a hive make it through 2 winters without help and with only taking a small partial comb of honey, this spring it looks like they have plenty of excess but I was planning on waiting until the dandelions are in bloom before I decide they have enough excess for me to take some. (although I believe they will)
ron
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semiautonomous
Nurse Bee


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 44
Location: England, Shropshire, Shrewsbury

PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh thanks guys, that's helped me relax. I just had a small panic when I saw them flying and couldn't remember what I was supposed to be doing with them Shocked . I'll leave them bee until the dandelions are well out then.
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