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Author Topic: Winter Honey Stores on the bottom of hive  (Read 2363 times)
Mason
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« on: October 22, 2012, 03:14:05 PM »

Your thoughts,

an old timer beekeeper in my area puts his winter honey store mediums on the bottom of his brood deep with a queen excluder separating them.

This is his logic:

Our bees here in Georgia often fly in the winter and don't reap much from their efforts.  The trick is not getting stores in your hives but having the stores close to the cluster.  He says the bees will move the honey up easier than they move honey down.  When the bees go on these winter flights they pass through the mediums with the honey stores and bring them upstairs to the queen and brood.  The queen excluder is for keeping brood out of your supers to prevent wax moths who seek the protein from brood comb not found in exclusive honey comb.
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2012, 03:58:28 PM »

An excluder might mean your queen will freeze if cold sets in for a while and the Winter cluster moves down into the super leaving the queen behind.  Wax moth ain't a problem in the cold and will destroy plain empty wax or honey comb.  You can put honey on bottom, that way the cluster will be in the bottom of the hive come spring.   But I would not use an excluder.   
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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2012, 04:27:40 PM »

Your thoughts,

an old timer beekeeper in my area puts his winter honey store mediums on the bottom of his brood deep with a queen excluder separating them.



What ever but it makes any sense. Georgia is not exception in the bee world.

Strange idea: He says the bees will move the honey up easier than they move honey down.

That guy makes his own science.

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Mason
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2012, 04:30:43 PM »

The old man claims that if your supers have never had brood in them they will never get moths.  I know like everything about beekeeping nothing is definite but he is a 3rd generation beekeeper. It is common knowledge that moths prefer older darker comb.  I am not a fan of the queen excluder either but considering moving my honey stores to the bottom for winter prep.
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2012, 04:33:25 PM »

The old man claims that if your supers have never had brood in them they will never get moths.  I know like everything about beekeeping nothing is definite but he is a 3rd generation beekeeper. It is common knowledge that moths prefer older darker comb.  I am not a fan of the queen excluder either but considering moving my honey stores to the bottom for winter prep.

Is it so that he has too much space in the hive in winter and bees cannot quard the combs.
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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2012, 04:38:10 PM »

.
What MAAREC says about

CONTROL OF WAX MOTH IN COLONIES

The bees themselves are the best control of wax moth in active
bee colonies. It is not unusual to find an occasional wax moth
adult or larva in a colony. They will be in out-of-the way
places and in areas bees can’t get to such as areas between top
bars and inner covers. The bees may even have sealed the
caterpillar off with a propolis fence. If you have many combs,
especially darker combs that have had brood in them, or a
weak colony, more wax moths and their damage may be
evident.
Beekeepers frequently state that wax moths are responsible
for killing their colony. They are not capable of doing this.
What has happened is that the colony became weak, or more
likely lost its queen, and the population dwindled to where
there were too few adults to protect the combs. The adult
female lays her eggs and the caterpillars hatch and grow. The
caterpillar protected in its silken tunnel is hard for the bees to
remove. Before the beekeeper discovers the weakened or
queenless colony, the damage can accelerate. Under favorable
conditions in the southern U.S. or tropical climates, wax
moths can completely destroy brood combs in a month.
In addition to insuring active, populous colonies, keeping the
hive clean and free of debris can help reduce wax moth
damage. The bees need access to all parts of the hive. Don’t
neglect to remove the debris that accumulates on the bottom
board or in cracks and crevices. Reasonable removal of burr
comb and propolis will also help remove places where wax
moths can become established.
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Mason
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2012, 04:59:57 PM »

Ok let's leave the wax moths and queen excluder out of the equation for a minute and get back to putting your stores below the brood.

I have experienced winter die outs while stores were still in the hive.  The cluster had eaten all the honey from where they were.  Last year I had better success by moving honey comb closer to the brood and cluster.

Since the bees do fly often in winter with little rewards they go through the stores quickly when conditions allow and then rapidly back dormant.  It seems reasonable that if they had to go through the stores on their way back to the brood and cluster they might be more inclined to get a snack and bring some food up to the cluster while on their way. 

I may try this with a couple of hives just as an experiment unless someone tells me a definitive reason not to.

As for the old beekeeper.  He comes out with lots of crazy stuff but is often very helpful and correct.  I would never discount him completely.   
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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2012, 07:11:21 PM »


  It seems reasonable that if they had to go through the stores on their way back to the brood and cluster they might be more inclined to get a snack and bring some food up to the cluster while on their way. 

   

It does not go that way.
Our bees do not fly during winter. If they fly, they cannot return.

System is such that cluster starts wintering in the place were were last brood.
Cluster makes heat which rises up.
Bees eate stores empty downstairs before they move slowly up.

In deep frost bees cannot go down because it is so cold there. But they can move up.

When there is mild weathers, cluster widden and can reorganize again and it makes their movements and reach the food edges.

in deep frost they are in slices between combs. If the gap has no honey, that gap of bees will die. It cannot move though the comb.
So bees move over the top bar when cluster becomes smaller.

Bigger losses happens when deep frost lasts long time, like weeks. 


A big colony can move easily because it generates heat into whole box. It reorganize easily itself and reach food stores.


I have seen now that many hives do not start downstairs but it start near entrance and near front wall. The cluster peeps in uppper and lower entrances.  The last winter food stores are near back wall in upper parts.

.The system is finally that at the beginning of spring build up the brood has warmest place in the hive and it is up.
It is the best way to save winter food (tree trunk)
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sterling
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 10:16:46 AM »

Bees naturally put their stores above their brood chamber for a reason. Why make it difficult for them?
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JRH
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 06:09:00 PM »

Let's see now.  Would it be easier for the bees to move themselves up to honey stored above them or move the honey up through an excluder to where they are?

If you were heating your house with wood, would you keep the stove on the second floor and the wood on the first?
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AllenF
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2012, 07:38:45 PM »

I keep the wood and the wood furnace down in the basement.   grin
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Finski
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 12:12:34 AM »



I keep firewoods in barn
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rdy-b
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2012, 12:32:29 AM »

 what the old keeper is doing is spot on for his agenda-he wants to keep his dedicated honey suppers white wax (virgin from brood)
 we already know if the honey is placed above the brood with the excluder that the bees may consume some -but more likely they will store it and add to it as there surplus reserve
if you have boxes of honey that you want to feed back to your bees to free up the boxes for future use (this often happens if they dont get extracted and are crystalized) put them below the brood and score a few frames and the bees will move the honey up-
the queen excluder keeps the brood out of his white wax
on a side note the only thing the bees would do that could be a problem for the honey suppers he is clearing-is if they dont get removed after they are cleared the bees may start to fill them with pollen
bees wont brood over solid honey but they will brood over solid pollen
the old keeper is in tune with his bees -- cool RDY-B
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Finski
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2012, 03:20:37 AM »

what the old keeper is doing is spot on for his agenda-he wants to keep his dedicated honey suppers white wax (virgin from brood)

This is a style question. Nothing more.

Quote

if you have boxes of honey that you want to feed back to your bees to free up the boxes for future use (this often happens if they dont get extracted and are crystalized) put them below the brood and score a few frames and the bees will move the honey up-
the queen excluder keeps the brood out of his white wax
on a side note the only thing the bees would do that could be a problem for the honey suppers he is clearing-is if they dont get removed after they are cleared the bees may start to fill them with pollen
bees wont brood over solid honey but they will brood over solid pollen
the old keeper is in tune with his bees -- cool RDY-B

Yes but now, winter is coming and bees have packed their honey for winter. There is no idea to put them reback again. It is out of mind.


What to do with crystallized honey next summer when you need combs to be used and you want to utilize the valuable honey. It is very different question.
This summer I returned to hives hundreds of kilos honey. I whipped cappings away with pressure washer. It went nicely. Then I returned frames to the hives and bees cleaned 80% out of combs.

I have seen that guys are mad when they play with their excluders.
It is like the core of beekeeping, even if they do not extract the honey.


If you put crystallized honey on bottom, bees pull crystalls off from cells and carry them out as rubbish.
Not good idea.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2012, 11:48:53 AM »

**What to do with crystallized honeynext summer when you need combs to be used and you want to utilize the valuable honey. It is very different question.**

 the point is the old keeper is bottom supering so he can FEED his honey back--with crystalized honey
 the main goal is to clear the suppers for future use with benefit of bees reconstituting majority of honey

**Yes but now, winter is coming and bees have packed their honey for winter. There is no idea to put them reback again. It is out of mind.**

the old keeper keeps his bees in a region that his bees are FREE FLYING throughout winter-they will burn through
alot of resources before bloom arrives-the old keeper is putting his bees before his pocket book -perhaps thats the part you dont understand  laugh

**If you put crystallized honey on bottom, bees pull crystals off from cells and carry them out as rubbish.
Not good idea.**

they cary out many things they dont consider of value to the hive wax capping included-it is good sign to see bees behave this way-they have there house in order
.

**I have seen that guys are mad when they play with their excluders.
It is like the core of beekeeping, even if they do not extract the honey**

I have also seen many odd things such as keepers operating with nothing but old dark comb with serious wax moth damage and they say the bees will clean them out--the other side of the coin is white wax for honey suppers and let the bees clean out any honey that did not get processed that season --you can tell alot about a keeper and his bees buy the condition of his comb--excluder or not-- cool   RDY-B.



 
 


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Finski
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« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2012, 12:47:41 PM »


I have also seen many odd things such as keepers operating

One odd thing is that beekeepers scrab the cappings away that it is easy to bees eate them.

I have seen many times that bees have capped the honey next day


Yes, I give old honey as such as it is. Why in heck it must break again. ,,,,,nursing!!! like bees would ask it
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rdy-b
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« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2012, 01:09:45 PM »

**I have seen many times that bees have capped the honey next day**
 
yes if placed with or above brood
 --but not if you put super on botom and keep queen above with excluder
 Wink RDY-B
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Mason
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« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2012, 02:56:39 PM »

Good information,

interesting take from Finski.  I am dealing with a much warmer climate here but knowing how others manage hives in different environments is useful. 

My area had a very warm winter last year.  The bees flew almost year round with not much for their efforts.  Honey stores were exhausted early and I had to feed early.  It really hurt my honey production because the resulting early bloom happened before the population had surged.

I think I may try putting my honey supers on the bottom of the brood IF it is unseasonably warm.  This old timer however told me to prepare for an extra cold winter because "the hornets were building their nest close to the ground".  Who knows right?  Something to think about.
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Finski
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« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2012, 04:49:09 PM »

**I have seen many times that bees have capped the honey next day**
 
yes if placed with or above brood
 --but not if you put super on botom and keep queen above with excluder
 Wink RDY-B


if I have 6 langstroth boxes in the hive, do I put that on bottom?

More madness in xx generation

« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 11:38:59 PM by Finski » Logged

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rdy-b
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« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2012, 12:23:17 AM »

**I have seen many times that bees have capped the honey next day**
 
yes if placed with or above brood
 --but not if you put super on botom and keep queen above with excluder
 Wink RDY-B


if I have 6 langstroth boxes in the hive, do I put that on bottom?

More madness in xx generation




 well goly  cheesy whats the alternative--let them starve  huh  RDY-B
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