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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Riner, Va
    Posts
    53

    Question Properly managing winter honey stores?

    Hi All,

    Can anyone share their process for properly overwintering hives and honey store management.

    I ran 2 deeps last season and left a full medium of capped for wintering. I checked the hives late January and they had not touched any of the honey in the medium. Yet, come the beginning of March, both hives swarmed.

    I come to realize the honey super kept the queen from moving up and expanding the hive.

    My questions are if one should leave say 40 lbs in my area and they have say 4 or 5 deep frames of capped honey in the brood area should I still leave a shallow super on top?

    Also if I were to leave a super on top could I do it with only 3-4 frames of capped honey and the other frames be empty? That way they could have room to expand in the spring.
    If this method was used would i place the 3-4 frames of honey in the center of the super or space them every other frame?

    Thanks in advance and look forward to your methods!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    goshen, ma
    Posts
    359

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    was the bottom deep full or empty when they swarmed?

  3. #3

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    Had to Google where Riner, VA was. I'm here in Gloucester County and I'm sure our winters are a bit easier than yours up in the mountains but still in January and February you ought get one or two days you can take a look into your colonies. This year on the 2nd of Feb I was manipulating frames, moving stores closer to the brood nest and in some cases removing supers of excess stores. It was pretty mild by us and I was extracting in Feb Fall honey that the bees weren't going to use. It is sort of a balancing act. You want to be sure to leave them enough but then you have to make time to rearrange this early so that the bees will expand and not get crowded. Some times you win, sometimes they swarm. I try have my colonies on 3-4 mediums going into winter and one of those will be a full super of honey. Leaving empty frames in the colony in Fall is not as good as adding frames and intentionally expanding the brood nest before the Spring buildup. You have to be aware of the weather and not add too much so that the bees cannot cluster and keep the brood warm and also keep in contact with stores.

    Pete0
    Bena, VA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Riner, Va
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Thanks for the replies! I hope to have better luck this year with 12 hives going into winter.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Indian Valley, Virginia
    Posts
    587

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    in this area (I live not far from you) 60lbs per hive is generally thought to be what you need going into the winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,390

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    >>Can anyone share their process for...honey store management.<<

    >>in this area (I live not far from you) 60lbs per hive is generally thought to be what you need going into the winter.<<

    For fall feeding, weigh your hives. Two story colony with bees but no honey weighs about 70 lbs. Add 60 to that...hives should weigh 130.

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