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Author Topic: will my hives make it?  (Read 2511 times)
luvin honey
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Location: Central WI


« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2009, 01:24:04 AM »

Kathy or others--I have all topbar hives and so could not put sugar on top. Would there be any reason I should not dump some in the bottom of my solid-bottom hives? Thanks Smiley

One more thing--I'm confused when people talk about, for example, "2 deeps to overwinter." If a person's broodnest fills 2 deeps, including some backfilled brood area, are those the 2 deeps referred to. Or, are folks talking about storage area above and beyond the brood area?
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The pedigree of honey
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A clover, any time, to him
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Natalie
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« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2009, 11:15:19 AM »

I have seen sugar placed on the bottom of topbar hives and I plan to do that this year as well.
If they don't use it they will carry it out in the spring or you can sweep it out.

When people refer to overwintering in 2 deeps then that is all they use to house the bees and their food storage.
They condense them down to 2 deep boxes, 3 mediums or whatever combination they use in their area.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2009, 01:26:43 PM »

Thanks, Natalie. Could you please explain the sugar on top of the topbars? I can only picture newspaper with the bars spaced out, then sugar on that...

Thanks also for explaining the "2 deeps, etc" part. So, with a 16-18 bar broodnest, would that qualify as 2 shallows? Would I then want to leave another "shallow" or 8 bars or so of honey?
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Natalie
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« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2009, 02:53:45 PM »

Depending on how deep your frames are 16-18 bars could be more like 2 mediums.
I would think about 8 bars of honey would be good, if you end up leaving more you can always harvest it in the spring.
For the sugar, I have just seen it spread out along the floor of the hive.
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greenismycolor
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« Reply #24 on: July 25, 2009, 05:28:57 PM »

For the most part I have not found anyplace in the USA, including Alaska, that needs more than 2 deeps full of stores to overwinter. 
If bees die from starvation during the winter it is not from the cold itself but rather from either too long of a period of of cold that doesn't allow the bees to break cluster and bring stores back to it, or there was insufficient stores to begin with.  The third most common cause of bee loss during the winter is moisture condensation where the moisture condenses and rains on the cluster and a quick following freeze kills the bees, ventilation cures this.
I'm not saying bees can't die from lack of stores, even with more then 2 deeps, under severe conditions but that is the exception rather than the rule.

As a prewinter check list you want the bees to have a good crop of winterized (october) brood, backfilled as much of the brood chamber as possible (maybe all but 10-15%) and beginning to build burr comb for additional stores.  2 10 frame deeps with stores and bees should be about 150 lbs. With properly ventilated hives your bees should make it through the winter.  Smaller hives will have smaller clusters but can still be successfully overwintered using similar guidelines, just that the total weight of the combined hive will vary.  a double stacked 5 frame nuc can be successfully overwintered and only weigh 50 lbs when backfilled, burr comb, proper ventilation, and late hatch bees are present.   

Brian, How do you ventilate your hives in the winter? what is proper ventilation?

Thanks to all for such good information
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