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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    39

    Default Prepping for Next Year

    This year I started two hives from 2lb Carni packages, both on one drawn deep. Once they started getting that filled, I added a deep of undrawn Mann Lake PF-120s. We got some good warm weather and a flow, and they have been drawing it nicely for about a week. One hive has 5-6 drawn frames, the other 2-3.

    So I've started thinking about my strategy for adding honey supers on these hives if the time comes when things start getting crowded. I could always throw a medium on, let them draw that out and see what happens. But I also wondered if it might be smarter to throw a third deep on and let them draw that and overwinter with three deeps.

    My thought was this would be a good way to get two more deeps of drawn foundation, which I could then pull off and put two packages on next spring. I'm starting to buy into the "drawn foundation is one of the beekeepers biggest assets" school of thought, and this seemed to be a good way to get packages off on a good start next spring.

    Thoughts? Am I crazy?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,410

    Default

    You could do that. I just use all mediums so I don't have to make that call.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,772

    Default

    Drawn foundation is certainly a plus. I hived a package this spring to replace a deadout. I used the old hives comb. It's now my strongest hive and has been supered. A medium of drawn comb is fine for honey, by the way so go for what you think you'll use next year.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,139

    Default

    Try catching a few late season swarms in July and August and feed them and let them draw out comb for you. If they survive you have another hive, if they don't you have drawn comb for your springtime endeavors.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Inver Grove, MN
    Posts
    1,462

    Default

    The University of Minnesota recommends wintering in three deeps, but I've always used two and had good results. Wintering in three certainly wouldn't be bad and getting the extra wax drawn is always a benefit. You can still harvest a frame or two of honey from a deep if they are able to get that far along.
    Linux - World domination through world cooperation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Randolph County, Indiana
    Posts
    693

    Default

    Wow, and I'm planning to switch from two deeps to a deep and a medium.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default

    I believe it was Michael Bush that talks about wintering in the smallest space you can with your bees. The bigger it is (three hive bodies) the more area they have to heat and the more stores they will use. Just a thought.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Boone, NC
    Posts
    39

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alpha6 View Post
    I believe it was Michael Bush that talks about wintering in the smallest space you can with your bees. The bigger it is (three hive bodies) the more area they have to heat and the more stores they will use. Just a thought.

    That is why a lot of people use mediums here in the NC mountains.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    Given the year we're having, if you leave them with two deeps they'll probably swarm. Be ready with another box, size doesn't matter right now. You could start packages in a medium next year. Heck, if they have two deeps drawn out you could probably split them now yet, a queen is lots cheaper than a package.

    How's the sweet clover looking down there?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default

    I'm using eight frame mediums and give them whatever they seem to need. Anything from two to five boxes depending on the size of the cluster.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    39

    Default

    The sweet clover is looking GREAT down here this year. I changed locations from last year, this year I am sitting next to a lot of DNR land and am literally buried in the stuff. I had no idea when I picked the site.

    I'm going to go ahead and add the third deep when I inspect this weekend, assuming comb drawing is still progressing well on my second. I'm up in the air if I overwinter with three deeps or not, I guess that will be a decision this fall.

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