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Author Topic: empty deep and 3 full mediums  (Read 1225 times)
ChrisT
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2013, 01:14:38 PM »

Thanks merince,

I do understand 10framer's idea that there should be more brood but since its getting cold(er), I would not expect her to fill out huge amounts of frames of brood either. I wasnt really worried that I only had 3 deep frames of brood. I was more worried about the huge amount of empty space itself. I have enough bees right now to defend it but was worried as they start dying off in numbers, as they starting to do now (just becuase of the life cycle, not bc of any disease or anything), i assume at some point here soon there wont be enough bees to cover all the frames of the deep. The queen is still hanging out down there and they havent gone into cluster yet at the bottom of the first medium.

iddee had also mentioned that 1.5 mediums by itself was enough to survive winter here in atlanta. I didnt want to take off too much as I just need to make it though at least one winter to be able to learn what happens during winter (last november they absconded leaving a full deep and 2 mediums). If 1.5 mediums is enough to go through winter then 3 should be way more than enough and allows them the space to not be overcrowded so I am still thinking that having the empty deep = way too much undefendable space. But as others have suggested here, that is something that I apparently dont need to worry about. And, I really cant remove it as long as she is raising brood down there.

Again, appreciate all the help. Just trying to get through the winter but at least I have now officially passed the date where they left last year (November 1st). Yea.

Thanks
Chris



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ChrisT
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2013, 01:24:35 PM »

10framer,

I have bees covering every frame everywhere (deep and mediums - lots of bees)... but brood on only 3 of the deep frames.

They did fill up the deep frames but with all that rainy summer weather, it was all used by the end of august. They have since not been abel to fill up those deep frames as there wasnt much here in september and october to be able to fill up with. The queen did start laying in the first medium durign teh summer as expected adn they did fill up that brood area in the first medium with honey where the queen had been laying. So they were backfilling just were doing the medium first and then started on the deep i guess but its not much to speak of. I did check wednesday and there was some more honey in the deep than when i first posted this, but not much more, so they are slowly starting to backfill it I guess.

If you think that I should have more brood than I do, then I guess I should be worried. I thought 3 frames of brood was a good amount for this time of year tho. But again, I havent been successful making it trough a winter.

Thanks for the help
Chris

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Vance G
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« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2013, 05:59:31 PM »

I would pull the top box of honey at a minimum and harvest it.  The two remaining are a great plenty to winter anywhere if they are indeed full.    New beekeepers are taught to be afraid to take a crop from their bees.    More often than not, it results in their bees swarming.  Pulling two mediums and feeding twenty pounds of sugar in heavy syrup would not be an unreasonable thing to do.  Even though you have had a frost, I will bet that your bees will be out bringing in pollen.  Bottom line is, you do not have to do anything.  A lot of that stored honey will be used to raise bees come spring and you best stay on top of the population or they will swarm on you.  Congratulations on successfully getting bees thru a challenging rainy season!
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iddee
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« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2013, 07:02:20 PM »

Although I can't disagree with Vance, I would think it better to harvest that top box when the flow just begins in the spring, if it is still full and completely capped. Just for insurance.
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merince
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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2013, 08:15:35 PM »

Actually, I agree with 10framer. You are very close on the brood - the difference could be the breed or the fact that some races maintain smaller brood nests and shut down production in a dearth. The question is whether you have pollen frames in the deep. That could be another reason for the smaller brood nest - not enough pollen to rear brood.

You said you saw your queen, so I would check on the pollen supply.
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10framer
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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2013, 10:13:04 PM »

ok, now we have more information.  three frames with brood and stores in some of the other frames sounds way better to me.
i keep forgetting it's november because i've been sweating in my deer stand.  the empty space is more of a concern than the amount of brood.  something just sounds a little off to me.  have you had a frost up there yet?  my bees were still working a couple of days ago but we haven't had a killing frost yet.  i got held up today but i'll definitely get through a few hives tomorrow.  maybe i'll be surprised at what i see.     
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ChrisT
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« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2013, 12:00:09 PM »

merince, there is indeed hardly any pollen in the deep and almost none in the mediums, although as vance pointed out, I noticed yesterday that they are bringing in quite a bit of pollen right now, from where i am not sure and I havent seen any pollen coming in for a while befoer this (a month maybe) so maybe my hive is getting back on track (or trying to catch up).

I would really love to pull one more medium but im gonna leave it because I just want to get through a winter successfully. I am interested that iddee says to pull it in spring if they havent used it. Would it really be viable honey (for sale) after a couple few freezing cycles? Or at that point is only good for feed?

I think the common assumption is my brood seems low to the conscensus of people because my bees have little pollen to raise brood on. So that mystery is most likely solved although I was originally concerned about having an empty deep but as time has passed they seem to be starting to try and fix that. I guess since i never made it this far last year, I didnt know there was still some pollen and honey out there to be had this time of year in Atlanta.

Thanks again for the help
Chris



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merince
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« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2013, 12:15:54 PM »

Honey should be fine to pull in the spring, unless you ended up with some of the quickly crystalizing honeys. The thing is, if the bees have left over honey in the spring, they will convert it in more bees and give you a good harvest with fresh honey. Either way (whether you harvest it in the spring or use it as feed) - look at it as an investment.
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Vance G
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« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2013, 12:16:06 PM »

A dozen freezing cycles won't do diddly squat to your honey except convince it to crystalize depending on the nectar source.  Some tree honeys never seem to crystalize.  I have a pound from Tennessee that is seven years old and still liquid and undarkened.  It was never heated.  If you want to harvest it in the spring, that is fine as long as you don't feed and get sugar syrup mixed in with the honey.  Won't hurt you but it is bad form and fraud if you plan to sell your honey as honey.  You are overthinking this sir and that seldom pays.  Your brood is low because you have a queen that has a survivors propensity to not raise a bunch of unneeded workers to eat all the honey so the colony can starve.  

Realistically there is just nothing you can do now, so stay out until what your local beeks tell you it is spring~!   If it approaches the spring flow and your bees have this mountain on honey above them, it will incentivize them to swarm.  Then you can watch them go to the trees or you can become a beekeeper.  A part of being a beekeeper is harvesting honey and leaving your bees in a position where they need to store honey again.
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