Feeding Honey Back to The Bees

I know it’s not recommended but I had a super of old  honey, most of it crystallised in the combs. Rather than just bin it I decided to feed it back to my bees. So I uncapped 4 frames and put them into a super and left it about 15m from the hives. The bees found it and took about 2 days to clear the frames out. They made a mess of the foundation and a lot of wax debris was deposited on the ground. The condition of the drawn combs was such that they couldn’t be re-used and I put them in the solar wax melter. The whole process seems to have made the bees in all the hives very aggressive. I guess what I had unwittingly caused was a form of robbing activity and the colonies were taking measures to protect their own stores.

I was still left with another 5 frames, but didn’t want to repeat the process of leaving the frames in the open. I decided to uncap the frames and split these between two hives  and put them in a super above the crownboard. The bees cleared them in 2 days and when I removed the empty combs the bees were still very aggressive. But on the plus side they hadn’t destroyed the drawn combs and I will be able to re-use them.

So at least I have learnt one lesson – put the combs back on to a strong colony above the crownboard for best results.