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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Addison County, VT, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    Here in central Vermont, the rule of thumb for Langstroths is leave a full medium super on top for honey for over the winter.

    How many bars to leave in a tbh? 9? I need to take some honey because the hive is full but I don't want to take too much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Red Hook Ny
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    I'd leave as many as I could, maybe 12 or so ? It depends on many things from local temps to the breed of bee you have, and the design and size of your hive.

    I had a tbh of 'slovenian mutts' overwinter on eight bars this year. It was a cold winter and on that first warm February day I opened it and found a small cluster and absolutely no stores. Zip zero zilch. The bees were wandering empty combs.

    It took about eight pounds of sugar (I made triangular candy boards) to carry them through to the end of March.

    If I had it to do over (and I do, I split that hive twice this spring) I'd leave a lot more honey. And I will. This hive has already given me 30 pounds of honey this spring/summer. They currently have ten capped bars of honey and are drawing comb and putting up honey like mad. Once they pass the twelve bar mark I am gonna snag those two bars of light spring honey they are hiding from me. Or so they think.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sauk, WI, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    bakerboy--can you describe how you made the candy board triangles?

    thrissle--I'm in the same boat as you with one hive. It had so much brood and honey that I had to pull some honey to make room and some brood to add to a split I had already made from it. And, this same hive had swarmed once, too! But, I also want to be sure to leave them enough for winter. Glad you asked this question

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Red Hook Ny
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    I heated some sugar and water to 240˚ let it cool a bit and then seeded it with a few tablespoons of sugar. This causes it all to re-crystalize, before it cools and sets hard I pour/smush it onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
    Trim to appropriate angle and prop it up inside the hive.

    Sorry for the lack of precise amounts, but I am a baker and this recipe works without really measuring anything. Put the sugar in a pot and add just enough water to wet it all. Stir to check for dry spots on the bottom, dry spots can superheat and burn the sugar. There's no sense putting in too much water since you just have to boil it off anyway.

    It is important to 'seed' the cooling solution with solid sugar crystals, this causes it to re-crystallize it to a solid but easily crumbled mass. 240˚ is not nearly hot enough for the cooled syrup to harden by itself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sauk, WI, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    Thanks, Bakerboy! Is there a reason why this would be preferable to dumping sugar in the bottom? More usable by the bees, perhaps? Also wondering if you use honey in your baking products, but maybe I should start another thread I just made baklava for the first time and with my first honey--wow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Sebastopol, Ca.
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    Quote Originally Posted by luvin honey View Post
    I just made baklava for the first time and with my first honey--wow!
    I'm coming over. I'll even bring the milk!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Sauk, WI, USA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    Don't I wish there was even one piece left!! Alas, I'm afraid I put it into my own winter storage

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Red Hook Ny
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    I liked the idea that I could add two weeks or so worth of sugar without taking up too much room. I had a follower board after the last comb, adding a bunch of sugar would have meant moving the board back and I didn't want to give them too much room to heat, February is still mostly cold here.

    I think I also wanted to cook something sweet for the bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

    Default candy boards/sugar frames

    I also made candy boards to feed my bees in Honduras—I call mine “sugar frames”.

    The recipe I used is pretty similar to bakerboy’s. The difference is that I actually made a frame into which I poured the sugar. Mine get pretty hard but the bees chew on it just fine.

    One thing that I have heard is that the bees need access to water in order to take advantage of the sugar in this form. They function well in spring in the U.S. (when the bees can begin to leave again) but may not work as well in mid winter when the bees can’t journey outside. I have the advantage that the bees can get out to collect water year round down in Honduras (they actually get put on the hives during the rainy season).

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...atingsugar.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...rameinhive.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...garframe02.jpg

    http://i155.photobucket.com/albums/s...garframe01.jpg

    My reason for using them seems to be somewhat similar to bakerboy’s. First, they don’t take up much space, especially with the bees that are still in trap hives (only eight or nine bars of space). And one frame seems to be lasting at least three or four weeks. Each frame has about six pounds of sugar. This cuts down on the needed visits for feeding. This is especially convenient for the yards up in the mountains on coffee farms.

    ----------
    Tom

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Red Hook Ny
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    Nice work, Tomas !

    I can see what I'll be making for this winter. I like the cross wiring, looks like it will hold the candy in place.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Addison County, VT, USA
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    Quote Originally Posted by bakerboy View Post
    I'd leave as many as I could, maybe 12 or so ? It depends on many things from local temps to the breed of bee you have, and the design and size of your hive.

    I had a tbh of 'slovenian mutts' overwinter on eight bars this year. It was a cold winter and on that first warm February day I opened it and found a small cluster and absolutely no stores. Zip zero zilch. The bees were wandering empty combs.

    It took about eight pounds of sugar (I made triangular candy boards) to carry them through to the end of March.

    If I had it to do over (and I do, I split that hive twice this spring) I'd leave a lot more honey. And I will. This hive has already given me 30 pounds of honey this spring/summer. They currently have ten capped bars of honey and are drawing comb and putting up honey like mad. Once they pass the twelve bar mark I am gonna snag those two bars of light spring honey they are hiding from me. Or so they think.
    Bakerboy, thanks for the reply about how much honey. -- Thrissle

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Dalkeith, Ont, Canada
    Posts
    206

    Default Re: How much honey for winter in a TBH?

    I don't mean to be a fuddy duddy but you will want to be careful with the sugar, if you feed to much especially in the fall before over-wintering, you can actually weaken the bees, I worked for a beek this summer and he lost a large amount of nucs, he thought it was because there where to many in one spot and he regularly feeds heavily (in the order of 15,000 a year ). Thinking was bees can turn sugar into a honey substitute but it depletes nutrients from their bodies, this wouldn't be to bad except if there are to many in one location they can't find enough pollen to replenish those nutrients. Most texts I have read suggest only feeding with sugar in an emergency, some say to keep a portion of the honey harvest as feed just in case
    I also noticed they would often not touch the sugar antibiotics he would put inside the hives unless the nectar flow was low.

    "braces for rebuttal"

    Sam + 2.5 cents

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