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Author Topic: How old does honey get?  (Read 870 times)

Offline saltybluegrass

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How old does honey get?
« on: December 03, 2022, 11:01:37 am »
Loaded question but I saw in the how much does a frame weigh thread someone replied if a frame gets too full you?ve probably lost out on production.
Now I know honey was found in king tuts tomb and lasts forever
But I extract once a year and have loaded frames. What have I missed in production by not extracting at the height of the flow?
Here in S Florida it?s 90 degrees in November so these girls are always busy!
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2022, 11:59:18 am »
It's going to be dependent on your flows, but this is an interesting question.  I'm under the impression that during a flow, the bees will seek to fill any available space as quickly as possible, since they are programed to take advantage of food by gathering it when it's available.  So the triggers for them to put up honey, as it were, are a nectar flow and space to put the nectar.  If there is a nectar flow, but no space to put the nectar, perhaps because the combs are already full, they won't continue gathering.  This is why beekeepers continually add supers to hives as long as the nectar is coming in, so the bees will put up more and more honey.  I'm my opinion, it's less about when you extract, and more about making sure that the bees have enough space to store the nectar when it's available.   
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2022, 12:03:33 pm »
Think about your own food storage. When the pantry and the fridge are full - there is no need to goto the grocery store. When the cupboards are bare, there is panic to go out and to restock asap.

Same principle with a hive. Empty their cupboards and they will be compelled to refill them. Leave it and they will be lazy and start doing stupid things like washboarding, swarming, and burr combing. Optimum is to empty the hive when frames/boxes are 70% full. Not at frame here or frame there, take all of it at once. The sudden realization of empty cupboards drives them to panic and get very very busy. It is amazing how fast they will refill the boxes, under good flow conditions. If you only take a frame here or there, you will not notice much difference in production level.

How much you have missed out on? That would be regional to what you normally have for flows. Where I am, the miss would be at least 3x as much. For example say you pull 100 lbs off the hive by leaving it and doing it once. If you were active at making a hive produce to its full potential, pulling it weekly, you could reach well over 300 lbs off the hive.

Hope that helps!
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Offline saltybluegrass

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2022, 01:44:00 pm »
Oh I see I?m losing production from not adding storage for them! I thought they were using it up somehow.
Yeah I don?t need supers, I can barely muscle up to extract one!
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2022, 02:27:30 pm »
You are losing production by not taking away what they have.
When the lid goes back on, the bees will spend the next 3 days undoing most of what the beekeeper just did to them.

Offline .30WCF

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2023, 10:26:15 pm »
I bet most folks want to draw new comb, so they add foundation or whatever method of empty frame they use rather than extracting for production. Kind of depends on how established you are maybe.


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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2023, 11:59:12 am »
Any colony can only guard so much honey.  So first, they may not expand more if they can't guard it, and second, if there is a dearth the population can fall and THEN they can't guard it and it gets taken over by wax moths or small hive beetles.  So you can leave too much honey.
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Offline paus

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Re: How old does honey get?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2023, 12:24:01 pm »
Three years ago I weighed a frame that weighed 11#13oz.  I have a friend who is an old beekeeper that said he has weighed several frames that weighed over 13#  He said he uses the 9 frame spacing to get more honey in his supers.  My supers are all10 deep supers.  I also harvest honey one frame at a time for several obvious reasons, but I have helped commercial beekeepers with thousands of hives and this is not practical as you don't have time to do that.  I was much younger and lifted 100 # supers and placed them on a pallet for a forklift to load on a truck.

 

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