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Author Topic: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size  (Read 866 times)

Offline MsCarol

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Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« on: October 16, 2013, 07:28:02 PM »
Forgive me if this has been addressed a zillion times before,

I have chosen to go all all 8 mediums for brood and honey. Most all "wintering" speak is done with deeps. So help me with the math. Would 3 mediums equal 2 deeps? Should I be sure these are packed with stores? All In order with brood in the center?  :? Should I add another box with honey if I have it?

This is growing zone 7b if that helps. First hard frost .....likely next week - Oct 20. Pollen starts flying in Feb if the whining from the humans is any indicator.  :-D

The feral hives took a hard hit this last year so I am struggling to keep the two I have alive. I don't have the finances to buy a package or nuc in the spring. i will have to do as I did this year and swarm catch.

Lemon grass oil? Would dried lemon grass stalks be attractive as well if laid on the bottom? My plant is going to have to be whacked down into submission before being brought in for the winter.

Offline sterling

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2013, 07:50:02 PM »
Four 8 frame mediums equals two deeps. You can winter in four if you have enough bees and honey to do that. Or you can winter in two or three 8 frame mediums. All depends on how strong the colony is. They need to be a little bit crowded with plenty honey I think. Where you are with a hive started this year, one full capped 8 frame med will probably be enough if they have nectar and honey in the brood area. It won't hurt to put an extra box of honey on though.
The last two years my bees were bringing in pollen on Christmas Day. Year before that I swept snow off the landed board on Christmas Day. So you never know. I would rather have too much honey then not enough.

Offline iddee

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 09:01:03 PM »
A medium is 2/3 of a deep. 3  8 frame mediums is 24 frames. 2/3 of 24 is 16. Three mediums would be equal to 16 deep frames, or 1.6 deep 10 frame hives.

NOW, the number of frames is inmaterial. You need to go by weight. If you can weigh an empty 8 frame box, multiply by three, and add the weight of the top and bottom, then add 40 lbs. for stores. That should be the minimum your hive weighs going into winter in Tn.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline sterling

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 10:43:15 PM »
An eight frame medium is the same as a five frame deep. According to M Bush. So two eight frame mediums is equal to one ten frame deep. One medium full of capped honey will weigh close to forty pounds.

Offline iddee

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 10:55:24 PM »
4 medium 8 frame boxes would be equal to 2 deep 10 frame boxes, plus 1 1/3 frame. Close enough for MB to consider equal.  
You did not say 4 8 frame mediums equals 2 10 frame deeps. The way you said it, you were talking the same size boxes.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Offline Joe D

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2013, 12:09:57 AM »
If you have three 8 frame mediums full of stores they probably would make it through the winter.  If they started getting short you could feed them.  If you have a fourth medium to put on them they would have that much more to live on.  I am a ways south of you, but the old man I got my bees from had his bees in a single deep, and used shallow supers, he may leave a super on top of some and would give the sugar syrup.  Down here this year in some areas didn't make much honey.  I haven't extracted any honey from mine yet, I may get some latter still.  Our Golden Rod is blooming now.  If they get the double deeps full I will take the supers, have been leaving them on this year in case they needed them.  I would drather let the bees have them than having to feed them sugar syrup.   Good luck to you and your bees.


Joe

Offline Oblio13

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2013, 07:24:34 AM »
Here in NH, I feel good if my hives go into winter with three 8-frame mediums, although they seem to do okay with only two 8-frame mediums.

Offline sterling

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 09:01:56 AM »
4 medium 8 frame boxes would be equal to 2 deep 10 frame boxes, plus 1 1/3 frame. Close enough for MB to consider equal.  
You did not say 4 8 frame mediums equals 2 10 frame deeps. The way you said it, you were talking the same size boxes.
You are right I didn't say boxes I was thinking boxes.

Offline 10framer

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 09:33:39 AM »
carol, 3 mediums should be ok.  if one of them is full of honey i'd check them late december/early january on a warm day and evaluate the stores. 
i've wintered bees in a single medium with no feeding before but i'll have a flow until early november then maples come in in january (the summer dearth is worse than winter).  i'm going into winter in single deeps or double 5 frame deeps for the most part. 
i'll start feeding in january and expect to do it through march.  i'll be doing that as much to sped up brood production for early splits as anything, though.
i let the bees backfill the brood chambers during the goldenrod flow to naturally break the brood cycle.  down here it's rare that the bees will have less than a couple of frames of brood through winter.
next year my plan is to go into winter with a deep and a medium on each hive.  i used to use double deeps but in the time of the hive beetle i think i need a different strategy.

Offline RHBee

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2013, 05:26:15 PM »
I run all 8 frame equipment. I'm going to winter in 1 deep or 2 medium boxes for brood and 1 medium for honey. Last year I wintered in 2 deeps. I feel confident that they will be fine. I'm more concerned with having enough stores due to the warmer temps, therefore more activity, than I am with cold temps. I figure to pull any excess equipment mid November. I'll evaluate late December and adjust as needed.
To evaluate stores I'm going to use a fish scale lifting the rear of my hives and compare to an empty unit.
Later,
Ray

Offline MsCarol

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2013, 09:10:34 PM »
Thank you guys,

I now have a better idea what the hives need to get through the average winter. The little hive I have I want to keep alive. I think they are ferals and I hope to try the small cell on them next spring if I can keep them going. They are visually smaller then the Italian swarm i caught early summer.

I will divide the stores here in the next few days of good weather. I hope to steal at least one frame of honey as i have an obligation for a taste to the elderly couple that tipped me off to the first swarm.

Beyond that I will feed....or try to.

Offline sterling

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Re: Bear with a newbie....wintering hive size
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2013, 09:59:35 PM »
If you are talking about feeding sugar syrup you need to be doing that now while there is some warm weather. You just have a couple weeks to wrap it up and put em to bed.

 

anything