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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Sugar syrup super and winter

    I'm getting my hives ready for winter and through late summer, I had a medium super on my 3 first year hives. They're about 50% capped.

    I've checked the top brood box and 2 out of the 3 are mostly empty cells with the queen not laying much anymore. There's also not much syrup/honey in them either.

    I'm still feeding sugar syrup with the super still on, but I want to get them down to 2 brood boxes for winter. Will the bees move the capped syrup from the super down to the brood boxes?

    What do you guys recommend doing? I don't really want to leave the syrup in the supers for storage, because I want to be able to use the comb for honey next year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    the bees will not move capped honey or syrup that is capped -
    they will use the capped syrup over the winter - and they will only take the cappings off they will not dismantle the comb structure -

    if you only have a few supers i would leave them on the hive - if you take them off there is a good to great chance that the pesky wax moths will find it and reek havik on your comb


    also what i do is if the queen as been laying in the second deep in sept (in our area) i take a queen excuder and place in between the deeps - then put the queen in the lower hive body - then WAIT 24 days - this will give all of the eggs in the frames to become adult bees - then start feeding 2:1 syrup
    this gives them a empty super to store in - leave the excuder on until the box is full of capped stores - then take the excuder off and head into winter -
    DONT forget to pull the excluder - you will be queenless come Febuary

    hope this helps you

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Lovell, WY, USA
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Quote Originally Posted by fr0sty View Post
    I don't really want to leave the syrup in the supers for storage, because I want to be able to use the comb for honey next year.
    I am in this same situation. I worry that next spring there might still be a bunch of sugar syrup in the super and mess the super up for honey production. Is this ever a problem? Or should I not worry about it because the sugar syrup in the super will definitely get used up this winter?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Concrete, WA, USA
    Posts
    761

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    i wouldnt worry about the sugar that is in the hive now - they will use most if not all of the syrup before weather breaks in spring - and if not they will use it in brood build up once pollen starts coming in steaty - well before your flow should start -

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Why not pull them off and let them rob and clean them out? They do it amazingly fast. Two days tops with good weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Wouldn't it make sence to stop feeding Syrup and feed them back the super honey for winter? Because they won't move capped honey, gently uncap it for them by scoring the caps with a fork or knife lightly. It a matter of days they will move it down. Then you can pull the empty super and switch to 2:1 but from my understanding feeding honey is always better than feeding syrup. That's my .02. And right or wrong, I ended up with 8 frames of honey from a cut out and this is exactly what i did

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Concretebees - Wouldn't wintering with 2 deeps and a medium be too much space for wintering? I'm afraid that it'd be too much empty space for the bees and then they would end up freezing and dying.

    WI-beek - I have 4 hives and robbing with 4 supers of honey would probably end up making at least 2 of the hives weaker.

    MapleME - As far as scoring the supers, just opening them up with a fork will cause the bees to empty the cell and move it down??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Worked like a charm. Think of it as feeding them, but your giving them the real thing back. If you need to supplement after they clean those frames out, go back to your 2:1

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    I have not had much of a problem letting the bees rob supers clean. I take them about a quarter mile from yard. I always notice a few hundred bees dead from fighting but thats minimal. Id rather have clean comb then fermented and moldy comb. I also dont extract frames that are uncapped and come fall I stack them up and let them take it back where it belongs. I guess I could extract and feed it back but I take out the extracting step.

    Just how I do it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    North Liberty, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    I have a medium super that has several frames partially capped with uncapped cells as well. I will feed this back to the hive by placing it above the inner cover, with the slot on the inner cover down so outsiders can't enter the super. They will clean it right up and I have no worry about robbing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,245

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    I had 3 supers with some syrup in them. I put them above an inner cover on 3 hives that I wanted to feed them to. 2 of the 3 moved it down. the other 1 won't. I am going to scratch open small sections of this one at a time and see what develops.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    valleyman, were some of the frames capped syrup?

    the bees moved it without piercing them with a fork?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,245

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Quote Originally Posted by fr0sty View Post
    valleyman, were some of the frames capped syrup?

    the bees moved it without piercing them with a fork?
    Yes mostly capped. 2 of them moved it down, the other one they are coming up thru and working it, and maybe adding some nectar. ??? bees will be bees
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA
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    27

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Oy, so I moved the supers above the inner cover yesterday and pierced the covered cells with a fork.

    BAD IDEA!

    Woke up this morning and took a look at the hives and saw honey/sugar syrup dripping from the hive. I think it may be because I did it too late in the day (I had to do it after work).

    I was thinking of just moving it without uncapping, but I didn't want to move it and then the bees not move the syrup down and have to go through the frames again.

    Will check on the bees this afternoon and hope they weren't too badly set back by this FAIL.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,245

    Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Every couple of days I have pierced some of the capped syrup. They will abruptly move it down. Funny how some will and some won't without piercing. They must be above the inner cover for sure or they will keep working them.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: Sugar syrup super and winter

    Frosty, I'm sure you realize now that it's getting awfully late in the year to be doing all this stuff. Remember to get the jump on accessing and preparing for winter about a month earlier next year.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

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