Hello from Falls Church, VA
I just started beekeeping this spring with two pkgs of Italians w/ marked queens from GA, which I installed 4/17/2010. I have 2 hives in my yard located in an older mature landscaped suburban neighborhood in Falls Church VA (DC suburb). My wife and I took the 8 week course offer by Pat Haskell and BANV. We have large tulip poplars a variety of flowers and vegetables. There is a birdbath and a water fountain in the garden. All new woodenware - hive bodies are 8 frame mediums and screened bottom boards. Hive #1 is robust now with 4 bodies ( queen excluder between 3 and 4). Hive #2 is coming along it has 3 bodies - not until about a month in did I see that it had 2 marked queens. A few days later I rechecked and it had only one so I am assuming one was killed off. Both hives have hive top feeders and I am still feeding the girls as recommended by instructor and mentor, as the nectar flow is over. Did IPM mite checks 5/15 and 6/15 NO mites - yeah!
Hives are raised on cinder blocks in the garden about a foot from each other facing south. This time of the year they get sun from about 10 AM - 4:30PM. When it is hot and humid I prop up the telescoping cover a little to increase ventilation.
Re: Hello from Falls Church, VA
Welcome, three and four supers and you are still feeding? Are you sure you were to feed them that long? Two deeps or three mediums for brood is the norm in colder climates like yours with at least one super of honey for the winter. If there is too much to heat and humidity control they will die this Winter of exhaustion and hypothermia. I assume at least all but the top supers have bees and stores of food or brood out to the outside frames. Small hive beetles are a threat with too much room to guard too. They can kill your hive in one week.