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Author Topic: Setting Up for Fall & Winter  (Read 728 times)

Offline Steel Tiger

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Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« on: September 04, 2013, 08:17:17 PM »
 The queens never left the single deeps to expand the brood nest. About a month ago I went through both hives and consolidated the mediums so that right now each hive is a single deep with two mediums that should be getting full of honey. Each medium have 9 frames but I think I'll be reducing it to 8 frames next year. They seem to like to build extremely think honey comb. The last time I was in them, one frame had comb that was almost 3 inches thick.
 I'm planning on taking one more look inside before winter. I'll close up the SBB and tack the entrance reducers in place so they can't push them out again. The upper entrance are three 1/4 inch holes drilled into the medium sitting on top of the brood box. I may board up two on each hive.
 Now the question....
 Since these hives didn't buiild up anywhere near what I was hoping, I'm guessing do to the genetics of the bees, how much room should I leave them?
 Should I consolidate more by moving all full frames of honey into one medium and remove the other...or leave both mediums sitting on top of the brood box?
As of right now, we're having a pretty strong late summer/fall flow, but temps are going to be dropping real soon.

Offline T Beek

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 07:23:58 AM »
It really depends on the colony strength.  If your deeps are full of mostly bees and little honey you'll want at least one medium "packed" with honey left above, two would be even better considering your winters.  Consolidating would be preferable but not always applicable. 

If you have less than a full medium you can place the majority of honey to one side or the other and provide some form of dummy block (occupying any empty space) before winter sets in on the other, providing "just enough space" for your bees.  If you have some empty drawn comb and a flow is one just put some empties in.  They will be filled during a flow.

Yeah, I'd also close up all but one of the top holes.
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Offline capt44

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 07:30:46 AM »
If you are having a strong honey flow I'd opt to leave the mediums on and see if they fill them out.
Later you can shuffle the frames around to one medium but for now I'd see what the bees get done.
You might consider using a candy board also.
Up there the temps get lower than down here so the bees will actually use less feed.
Here there are quite a few warm days then cool days which cause the bees to feed more.
Richard Vardaman (capt44)

Offline T Beek

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 07:57:32 AM »
Not much "later" to come for Northern bees and beeks.  NOW is the time to begin preparations   ;) 

We had a low of 37F 2 nights ago.
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Offline Steel Tiger

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 01:31:36 PM »
We had a low of 37F 2 nights ago.
When I got these girls back in April, I went out one morning and they were active and flying around when it was 38 degrees. Of coarse those were the ones that survived the winter so maybe that made them tolerant to the cold. Or it could be the breeds mixed in. Who knows.
 I was hoping to go in today but we had a cold front move in. Today's high will be 68. Looks like it'll be 80 on Saturday.

Offline hiram.ga.bee.man

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 10:58:00 PM »
Depending on your flow, daily temperatures and how much they are able to work and get stored; consider feeding and candy board for overwintering.
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Offline derekm

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 06:34:41 PM »
The queens never left the single deeps to expand the brood nest. About a month ago I went through both hives and consolidated the mediums so that right now each hive is a single deep with two mediums that should be getting full of honey. Each medium have 9 frames but I think I'll be reducing it to 8 frames next year. They seem to like to build extremely think honey comb. The last time I was in them, one frame had comb that was almost 3 inches thick.
 I'm planning on taking one more look inside before winter. I'll close up the SBB and tack the entrance reducers in place so they can't push them out again. The upper entrance are three 1/4 inch holes drilled into the medium sitting on top of the brood box. I may board up two on each hive.
 Now the question....
 Since these hives didn't buiild up anywhere near what I was hoping, I'm guessing do to the genetics of the bees, how much room should I leave them?
 Should I consolidate more by moving all full frames of honey into one medium and remove the other...or leave both mediums sitting on top of the brood box?
As of right now, we're having a pretty strong late summer/fall flow, but temps are going to be dropping real soon.
how about insulating?
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?

Offline OldMech

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Re: Setting Up for Fall & Winter
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2013, 03:01:52 PM »
Southern New Hampshire...  not a LOT different than here in SE Iowa, but not sure what is in "flow" atm..   Around here the goldenrod is EVERYWHERE, and the bees are taking advantage of it..
   I will give them another week or even two, depending on how long this flow lasts. Once it begins to slow, I will check my hives. I will look into the mediums.. most of my hives are all mediums, I have a couple that are two deeps with mediums on top.  My goal will be to consolidate the honey they have collected.  When the final flow is done, I will move the honey down, They tend to fill center frames, and ignore the outside.
   IE... I have four mediums, and consider that they need THREE mediums. Two for brood and supplies, with a third medium of nothing but honey, perhaps with a little pollen in a few frames. i will pull the center frames of honey in the 4th medium down into the third medium if they have not filled the outside frames to insure that third medium is as full as possible. IF, there is any frames filled left over, I will wrap them and freeze so I can add them back in the spring if necessary.
  From the last inspection, I will not have many that will go into the freezer.. five or six frames total. Not enough to add honey to all my hives if they begin to run low, but still a better option than feeding in April before the first flow starts.

 Should I consolidate more by moving all full frames of honey into one medium and remove the other...or leave both mediums sitting on top of the brood box?
   
  That is exactly what I do. as long as there are not so many bees that it will crowd them.
   Leave your mediums on until the flow begins to end, and consolidate the best frames as mentioned above is my suggestion/recommendation. Maximize food, and minimize space for winter, and be ready to expand them again in the spring before they run out of room. As mentioned, if they run out of reserves in the spring, you can pull the frames from the freezer to give them.
   If I run out of frames, I use dry sugar on top of the frames to help them hang in there until the flow starts.. around here, its dandelions that pop up first.

   There may be other opinions. you just have to decide which of those opinions/methods works best for you, and GO with it!
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

 

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