Re: Super advice from super beekeepers
I am no expert but I will give you my advise as it pertains to my experience
1. Should I put on a hive-top feeder to accelerate the comb drawn out on honey super and take it off as soon as a few frames are fully drawn out? I am wondering if there will be honey (for me) this year given it is already Aug.
You will not get honey from sugar water, general rule of thumb is not to feed while supering. However, if you are looking to get drawn comb filled with sugar water to feed back to your bees that will work
2. Should I pull any of the frames of honey out of the top hive body (deep) and replace with empty frames to reduce possible congestion? Perhaps that would compete with the honey super I put on?
Is your hive congested? is there room for the queen to lay/honeybound? if so you can remove some frames of capped honey to the freezer to keep as emergency feed. If you don't use it you can harvest it next spring for yourself (watch out for brood, you don't want it in your honey) If it were me in my climate I would just concentrate on them building up and filling the two deeps for the winter. That should get you through. Super and harvest honey next year
3. How much honey should I leave the colony for over-wintering? It seems the top hive body has a lot of honey for winter.
All of it for the first year. I would also make sure that the frames directly above the brood nest are full of honey once the weather gets cold. Sometimes the cluster will only move straight up the hive.
3. Do I feed the colony in Sept-Oct to get them ready for winter?
Depends upon the amount of stores they have. Someone in your area can tell you the weight of the hive necessary for overwintering. Two deeps should be adequate anywhere.
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