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Author Topic: Winterizing Question  (Read 975 times)

Offline Z-man

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Winterizing Question
« on: August 18, 2011, 09:45:10 AM »
This is my first year beekeeping (up north, cold winters).  My Russian bees have 20 frames made in 2 brood boxes and are busy capping honey on them, but I placed a super on top over a month ago. 
Since honey flows are scarce now, they have not built in the super.  The super is usually filled with bees it’s turned into a resting/mingling area for them. 

I’m perplexed on what to do:  keep the super on during the winter or take it off in the middle of October.  What have you found that works best for winterizing. 

Also, I made a 1 inch top entrance hole; what sizes do you use on top for ventilation over winter?

Thanks for any input and thoughts!   

Offline danno

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Re: Winterizing Question
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 09:55:35 AM »
Dont leave the super on over winter.  At this point there is no reason to leave it on until Oct.  If it is empty as you say the easiest way is to just remove it and stand it on end in front of the colony for the day.  By the end of the day they will have all found there way home.  You could also just shake each frame into the top or use a escape board if you have one.   As for your top hole.   1 inch is fine but I dont like drilling holes so I use  a vented inner cover with a 1 inch slot and insulation in winter
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 10:39:29 AM by danno »

Offline buzzbee

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Re: Winterizing Question
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 10:28:14 AM »
You could also put a bee escape in the inner cover and set the super above the inner cover. Then put the outer  cover over the super. When it gets cool at night,most of the bees will work their way down out of the super and into the brood box.
Remove the super in the morning while it's still cool.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Winterizing Question
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 01:13:42 PM »
If you want to do it quickly, get some Beequick. Take a piece of cardboard cut to the size of the top of your super, put a light spray of Beequick on it and put it on top of your super for 3 minutes (due to there is no comb or honey). Then remove the super. If there are any bees left put the super on top of the cardboard and partially cover it. You could also make a fume board by stapling a towel in an inner board. Works great.
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Offline indypartridge

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Re: Winterizing Question
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 02:09:28 PM »
Please update your profile to include your location. To someone in Florida, I'm "up north", but to me, "up north" is Canada.

No, don't leave an undrawn super on over winter. I still have some supers on (central Indiana) in hopes of a fall flow, but by end of September I want to have the hives in their winter configuration. Timing is very location-dependent.