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Author Topic: Opened my hive yesterday in prep for winter-your thoughts and a question  (Read 856 times)

Offline OzBuzz

  • Queen Bee
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  • Posts: 1011
Hi Everybody,

I opened my hive today in preparation for winter... over the past few weeks the hive has been booming! the queen has been profusely laying and every inch of the brood chamber was packed! i put some medium boxes on a few weeks ago to give them a bit more space... but today i opened the hive to get it prepared for winter. The two medium boxes of drawn frames had  lot of nectar in them, a few capped cells of honey and lots of activity but in preparation for winter i needed to remove those boxes so they can keep the hive temperature ok during the cooler months.

The queen is perfect - she is reducing the size of the brood nest and there are still plenty of capped brood cells, pupae and also new eggs. There's also a lot of empty cells that the workers are starting to fill with nectar for winter stores - there are also some nice pollen stores. I'm confident that i don't need to provide any supplementary feeding as there are two frames (frames 1 & 8) that are chockers and all of the others range between 40-50% full of honey. .

My question is this - i took the two medium boxes off without shaking the bees out. I just set them on a base to the side of the hive with a lid and i'm going to let them take the nectar out of the two medium boxes and take it back to the main hive. My wonder is - as i didnt shake the bees off the frames will they realise that they're no longer part of the main hive? will they instinctively return to the main hive at sunset?

Offline philinacoma

  • House Bee
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Where is the queen, hive or removed boxes?

Offline OzBuzz

  • Queen Bee
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  • Posts: 1011
She is in the hive... I went and checked the boxes last night. They have removed all of the nectar and taken it back to the main hive... so i took all of the boxes away and now all that's left on site is a single brood box chockers full of beautiful Carn X Italians about to bed down for the winter... although with this small warm spell i don't think they're going to be stopping foraging any time soon! The queen was clearly getting ready for winter though as she was reducing the size of the brood nest.

I found it interesting when i was going through the hive on the weekend that the bees had removed the swarm cell that they had built in the brood chamber and built five more in the two medium supers that i had installed... there was no eggs laid in the two medium supers and there was certainly no egg in the swarm cells.

What are peoples thoughts on a mat on top of the frames over the winter? My hive has no ventilation holes in the lid (that's how i bought it)