Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Last Extraction

The fall nectar flow is beginning to slow down and colder temperature are going to be setting in soon. You have pulled off your last honey frames that you plan to extract for the year and left your bees a good 50-60 lbs of honey for them to survive on through winter. 


 Even after extracting there is still a little bit of honey left on the frames that you want to give back to your bees. What better way to give it back to your bees then set it right next to the hive for them to clean out the honey....right?This is not what you want to do. Honey/nectar will draw in other bees and insects. The smell will lure them to the exposed honey and this can cause a robbing frenzy in which bees will physically fight in order to obtain the honey. Once they have cleaned out the honey from the frames you extracted, they will begin robbing the next source of food.

The next source could be your hive!




Your bees will do a much better job cleaning the frames than you will ever be able to but what is the best way?

Some beekeepers will place their honey supers back onto the hive for a week. This will give the bees enough time to clean the comb in order to begin building up the honey stores again. Remove your top but leave your inner cover on. Place your 'dirty' frames above your inner cover and place the top back onto the hive. Give it close to a week before trying to remove the supers.

If you do not want to go back into your hive (you called it quits for the season and you want to leave them closed up) you can place the supers out in the open for your bees to clean up.  You will want to keep the supers at least 200' away from your bee yard. Again, this can cause a robbing frenzy that can lead back to your hives... so the further away it is, the better.