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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    456

    Default Inspection results/feeding question

    Last night I did a full inspection on both TBH's. Both of these are first year hives using packages. I walked away pleased with both of them. The first hive has 10 bars of brood/eggs and 7 full bars of honey. It also has about a 2 inch band of honey on the top of each brood bar. The second hive has 8 bars of brood/eggs with about 7-8 bars of honey and again the 2 inch band at the top of the brood bars. I would really like to NOT feed them if I don't have to but I will to keep them from starving if needed.
    That sets up my questions.
    What are your thought regarding the food stores of these hives? Is there enough honey to get through the winter? Also, the brood area is FULL. There are very few empty cells. Should I add an empty bar?
    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Inspection results/feeding question

    I would say your bees are in fine shape for your winter. You may even be able to harvest a little honey for yourself depending on the dimensions of the hives. I'm just north of you and we can over winter easily in a single Lang deep brood box.
    I built my TBH's (sloped sides) so that each bar will hold the same amount of comb as the inside area of a Lang frame. Ten bars with stores take them through my winter.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Inspection results/feeding question

    Thanks for the response Delta.
    My top bars are 17" wide and the hive is about 12" deep with angled sides. That makes the comb roughly 15"x11". It's my understanding that (not sure of accuracy) each full comb is about 5-6 lbs. That gives me better than 40 lbs in each hive. I'm hoping this will be enough.
    I've already harvested a little honey from each hive do to mishaps. They were a little less than straight with comb on the storage bars and before I got them straightened out they had a little comb collapsed during inspections. Nearly crapped myself when that happened and the bees weren't too friendly about it either.
    Anyway the honey is sure great.
    I don't intend to harvest any more honey in hopes of making sure they have enough to get them by without feeding.
    Thanks,
    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Canada BC Delta
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Inspection results/feeding question

    The internal dimensions of my hives are 14.5" across the top 7.5" across the bottom and a depth of 12.5". This allows a comb area of up to 137.5 sq in less their bee spaces. This size comb holds just under 5.5 lbs of honey if using 1 3/8th" bars.

    You can always harvest again in the spring when nectar becomes available or pull any of the combs that are crooked or undesirable to the back of the hive behind the follower board to allow them to clean out and for building up the colony.

    The very minimum would be 25lbs, 30lbs would be better but 40lbs is great. I have over wintered what is essentially a nuc on 5 bars and maybe 10lbs of honey and they wintered well like that.

    Sounds like you have a couple of great colonies there!

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