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Author Topic: How much honey to leave?  (Read 3800 times)
LoriMNnice
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« on: August 27, 2012, 01:57:52 PM »

How much honey do my bees need for winter here in central MN? I use all medium boxes. Thanks
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Hethen57
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2012, 02:39:50 PM »

I would say about 1.5 boxes.  My weather is probably similar and I leave one deep of honey and they seem to have enough through the winter.  If they die there is usually honey left and it was either a failing queen or varroa, not starvation.
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Vance G
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2012, 02:16:40 AM »

Minnesota has a LOT more winter than Cour De Lane.  The Unniversity of Minneasota advocates wintering on three deeps!  I would use four if it were me I guess of your mediums. 
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derekm
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2012, 03:27:13 PM »

very dependent on the material and design of the hive...
possible to overwinter on only a few kilos of stores but that requires an exceptional hive...
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
stella
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 11:32:01 AM »

Hi Lori.
Last winter I left about 60 -80 pounds of honey for them. I figure one deep frame full of honey weighs about 10 pounds so roughly 6 to 8 full deep frames of capped honey. You may want to use 10 to 12 frames of mediums.

I also added followed the advice of an 'ol timer beek and made a 5 pound sugar patty on the inner cover for emergency feeding. They used it in the early spring even tho they had stores left. I will be doing that again.
Lets hope we have a repeat mild winter.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 12:51:44 PM »

1 full deep frame full of honey has about 6 pounds of honey  In MA. you need about 11 to 12 deep frame or 60- 70  pounds.

  Bees in Athol,MA. will eat about 5-6lbs. of honey per mo from about
week 2 or 3 Nov. to about the lasts week in Feb. in at will go up to about 5-6 lbs per week in Mar (ck for pollen come in) if I can make it to the 3 week in March the hive will be OK.


  Hope this help you out
 

            BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 01:22:18 PM by Jim 134 » Logged

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Jim 134
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 01:31:46 PM »

And I do run ALL med 1  full med frame full of honey has about 4 pounds of honey. I use 15-17  frames for 60 pounds.




       BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley 
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
derekm
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« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 04:25:13 PM »

80lb of honey  @7$ per lb (uk prices for local honey)  = $560 ... if I had a hive that saved 60% of that would you pay me $300 for that ... probably not but would you try a hive that cost $30 in materials? probably not
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
Jim 134
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 07:13:27 PM »

80lb of honey  @7$ per lb (uk prices for local honey)  = $560 ... if I had a hive that saved 60% of that would you pay me $300 for that ... probably not but would you try a hive that cost $30 in materials? probably not


 I know some beekeeper (may beehave) take ALL the honey and get new bee next year.


      BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Joe D
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 07:28:58 PM »

Here local honey doesn't bring $7 lb, not for the beek anyway.  $5 to $6 for a pint which is roughly 1.45 lbs.  I sold mine myself $6 for honey and $7 for comb honey by the pint.  I would rather leave the bees some of their honey than to have to feed them sugar syrup in the winter.




Joe
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Nyleve
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 08:33:52 PM »

So last year - my first year with bees - I took a full deep super of honey for myself. I left the bees two deep boxes for themselves - honey and brood. They were HEAVY - and 10 frames each. They made it through the winter, admittedly a mild one, without any problem at all. In the spring there was still honey left and I didn't feed either in the fall or the spring. I'm very confused reading all these posts about feeding the bees. Do you think I should do anything different this year? Obviously I'll make sure the two deeps are nice and full but otherwise I prefer not to feed sugar if I don't have to. I'm in south central Ontario, so we could get a cold winter - or not - depending.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 09:28:16 PM »

I know some beekeeper (may beehave) take ALL the honey and get new bee next year.
There's a commercial guy near me who manages his bees this way too.  He doesn’t harvest the brood chamber, but anything and everything above the bottom deep he takes.  The bees are then on their own; he doesn’t fall feed and he doesn’t bother with any insulation or wrapping.  Sometimes the bees make it through winter, sometimes they don’t.  When they don’t he heads to Georgia in the spring and brings back a bunch of new bees.  The numbers work out for him; he makes a living off bees which isn’t an easy thing to do.
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derekm
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« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 04:02:45 AM »

so how about a hive design that only needs 20lbs of stores for the entire winter  and has a higher wintering  survival than the 70lbs - interested yet?
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If they increased energy bill for your home by a factor of 4.5 would you consider that cruel? If so why are you doing that to your bees?
BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 07:05:07 AM »

Sounds good to me Derekm, but beeks are pretty well known for being set in their ways.  It might be the age thing  Wink
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BrentX
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 11:44:55 AM »

Yes Derek, I am interested. 

I understand the insulated hive concept.  In my own experiments results vary, but the hives insulated last winter were very strong this year.  I am interested in your latest thoughts and design,  perhaps a separate thread would be appropriate. 
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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2012, 01:40:46 AM »

.
I extract almost all honey away and I leave about 5 kg honey per hive.
Then I feed them on average 20 kg sugar.  It is enough for 9 months.

.
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Finski
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2012, 01:48:20 AM »

There's a commercial guy near me who manages his bees this way too.  He doesn’t harvest the brood chamber, but anything and everything above the bottom deep he takes.  

Our commercial guys keep one brood box and excluder. That means that brood box has honey none.
Then they feed syrup for winter.

Honey for winter is not important but pollen is.It  has all nutrients what bees need. Sugar or honey gives energy but pollen the rest.

Actually bees need not honey for winter. Our professional do not touch their hives for 8 months.
Don't try to say that it do not work.

.
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« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 01:00:06 AM by Finski » Logged

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T Beek
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2012, 05:06:33 PM »

I also use all mediums and live in Northwest Wisconsin.  This is a busy time for me and my bees as we both prepare for winter.  Starting next week each hive gets a complete top to bottom inspection which also entails removing all remaing honey supers and any empty frames and/or supers and basically just squeezing them down to a max of four mediums, although I've wintered over in 5 mediums with a big colony and no less than 2. 

Upon closing up, each colony will have at least one full super of honey above the 1, 2 or 3 broodnest supers which are also surrounded with honey/pollen, less on the bottom super (perhaps as few as one frame per side) and increasing the number depending on the number of supers (I've successfully overwintered in as few as two mediums and as many as 5). 

I make sure the top super is packed w/ honey and the inner cover is placed on top with another empty super on top w/ the cavity filled with 5-10 lbs of dry sugar for insurance, a 2" piece of rigid insulation over that, cover, wrap and done.

That all said, I'm going to try some of the advise gleaned in these pages and try some insulating of my hives this years...we shall see.... grin

t
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BrentX
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2012, 01:37:50 PM »

This thread got me thinking.  I have been wintering the hives as three mediums, with at least the top box being all honey.  The bees come into spring with honey left in the hive.  This year I have the opportunity to leave more honey on the hives.  Is there an advantage to do so?  Faster spring build up? 

From my experience I have not seen hives with more stores to have an advantage over hives with just enough to survive.  I am interested in what others have experienced.
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S.M.N.Bee
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« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2012, 03:03:46 PM »

Lori

Wish I could help you but I have never looked to see how many stores the bees have going into winter. I usually look this time of year and if they are light I feed
until the syrup crystallizes in the jar feeder caps. This is usually happens about the first weekend in November. I than put 5 pounds of wetted sugar on top of the inner cover and replace the outer with a extra tall outer cover to make room for the sugar. My insulated cover is also installed at this time.

John
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