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Author Topic: What should I do?  (Read 833 times)
RTbees
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Location: Salem, NY


« on: September 13, 2012, 01:00:31 PM »

Hi everyone,

New beek here looking for some advice going into this fall and winter. My first year hive consists of 2 deep boxes (10 frame) for the broodnest and 2 medium supers (also 10 frame). It was started from a nuc in April. I inspected 2 days ago and this is what I found:

Bottom deep: mostly just pollen and nectar stores.
Top deep: eggs, larvae, capped brood, pollen & capped honey (only about 1 full frame's worth of honey).

Supers: both contain 9 frames of 99% capped honey.

I've gotten lots of conflicting advice on how to manage this hive going forward. My initial thought was to just leave the supers on, the winter cluster could then move up through their stores as needed. The downsides to that approach are a larger space for them to heat and I may end up with brood in the supers come spring. Some other advice I've gotten is to remove the supers and feed them 2:1 syrup through the rest of the fall, overwintering in just the 2 deeps. My concern with this approach is whether they have time left to store that much. I'm in NY (Zone 5).

Or, maybe I should do nothing right now. Might they start moving the honey down from the supers into the deeps as they wrap up brood-rearing?

Any ideas?

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Sundog
House Bee
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Location: Florida Suncoast


« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2012, 02:32:21 PM »

Where are you and your bees?
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RTbees
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Location: Salem, NY


« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2012, 03:11:11 PM »

I'm in upstate NY, zone 5.
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dfizer
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Location: Ballston Spa, New York


« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2012, 03:20:48 PM »

Greetings - I live in Ballston Spa which is relatively close to you.  I hope to winter over my hives and am asking many of the same questions you are.  I'll be paying close attention to the responses to your post..... Good luck!
David
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 05:21:13 PM »

this might be one of the very few times i would consider swapping boxes....but i like my option 2 better.

if you only have one box with bees and brood, i think you do not have enough to leave those supers on.  you might consider swapping the bottom for the top deep, then feeding back the honey in one of the supers if they have room to store it. you might also remove the deep with pollen and nectar and leave on the two supers of honey.  freeze the frames from the deep and use them in spring to boost feed for hive.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
BlueBee
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 08:44:27 PM »

Bee keeping is all about conflicting advice.  That’s what makes it a challenge  Wink

Although I don’t disagree with KathyP advice, my vote would be to remove the supers and just feed them 2:1 to get that top deep filled before winter.  I’m in Zone 5 too; there's plenty of time for the bees to fill up drawn comb with syrup, or goldenrod.   Drawing plastic foundation at this point and then filling it with syrup would be a different issue. 

I wintered my deep hives with a single deep + 1 medium super last winter.  With insulation, 2 deeps is more than enough stores for the bees IMO.  I would harvest those supers for yourself and let the bees rob out the leftovers.
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nypam
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Location: upstate ny


« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 12:23:08 PM »

I'm like David, taking in what everyone suggests...all three of us are close by. We're in Hoosick Falls. The good news is ...at least we know there are 3 new beeks in our area...good for the bees,even if we feel there is a big learning curve. Did you join SABA ?
Pam
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mikecva
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Location: Northern Virginia USA


« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 01:10:19 PM »

I would consider swapping the boxes, remove the supers (but do not use the honey, you may need it), Feed, Feed, Feed with 3:2 or even 2:1 and pollen paddies (only to let them know it is OK to remove their pollen and back fill with honey). The bees only use the pollen to build, and the nectar to make honey. With feeding the bees should be able to store-up before the cold sets in (I use an in-hive top feeder and my bees consume about 2 gallons of 3:2 in 4-5 days). Check the hive just before it starts to stay cold where you are and if the bees have not stored enough honey, you may need to add one super back on.

On another note:    Welcome to the forum and beekeeping.
You also  dfizer.   -Mike
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Listen to others but make your own decisions. That way you own the results.
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derekm
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Location: glow in the dark Hampshire UK


« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2012, 02:41:24 PM »

Replace the hive with one where the configuration and materials give a thermal conductance of less than 0.5W/K in the top 25% of the volume then supply enough calories in stores to maintain an internal hive temp of above 20c,  24 by 7  until the first blooms.
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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?
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