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Author Topic: Leaving honey supers on for the winter  (Read 1755 times)
RandGraham
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Location: Northern IL


« on: October 08, 2005, 12:10:25 PM »

When I extracted honey the weekend after Labor Day weekend, there were two supers with uncapped honey that I did not extract. I left them on the hives since I extracted. I have two hives and I left one on each hive.

Now I am wondering if I should leave them on for the winter. In the past I just had two deep brood chambers for the winter with no honey supers. But I don't want the queen to lay eggs in the supers. Can I leave them on with the queen excluder in place? Or will this be a problem for the cluster as they move up?

Thanks for any advice.

-Rand
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manowar422
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2005, 12:20:05 PM »

Quote
Can I leave them on with the queen excluder in place? Or will this be a problem for the cluster as they move up?


Take out that excluder so your bees can move the stores
were they want them. They'll do what's needed so they
can survive the winter. Don't woory about brood in
the supers, as long as they get through the winter and spring.
Better live bees with brood in supers vs. starved dead ones.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2005, 03:35:14 PM »

If you want to leave them on for the winter and you usually use an excluder, put the supers on top of the inner cover and the excluder on top of the supers and the lid on top of that.  But I'd pull the supers after the cold hits.  You can talk all you want about how the bees don't heat the hive, but stand in a small building/tent/shelter and then stand in a large one on the same day and there is a lot of difference in how warm you feel.  Not becaue there is much difference in the temperature but there is a lot of difference in the radiant heat bouncing off of the walls.

I prefer the minimum room.

Yes the excluder is a problem.  The bees sometimes move up and the queen can't and they lose the queen.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
RandGraham
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Location: Northern IL


« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2005, 05:43:52 PM »

I think I will pull them. How should I store them? Should I try extracting them? Or should I store them and put them back on the hives in spring?

Thanks,
Rand
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2005, 06:41:53 PM »

If you're pulling them off completly I would extract them.  If you want to keep them for emergency stores and the weather is down to freezing at night, you can put them on a solid bottom with no entrance and a top with no entrance and seal them up as well as you can to keep the mice out and feed the full frames into your hives on warm days in place of empty frames.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
RandGraham
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Location: Northern IL


« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2005, 09:16:01 PM »

Well, I pulled the supers today and extracted them. Right now the honey from each super is in a separate 5 gallon pail. I estimate about 2 gallons from each super.

My hives both have the top deep solid with capped honey. This should get them through the winter. We had what was probably our last 80 degree day last Tuesday. Then it was in the 60's for a high and into the 40s for a low the rest of the week. I expect the bees to be flying this week as it is supposed to get up to 65.

Thanks to all who replied.

-Rand
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