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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marquette, MI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Super advice from super beekeepers

    Not to be redundant.
    I am a 1st year rookie with 1 colony--2 hive bodies (deeps) on. The top hive body is full--mostly of honey, capped & uncapped. I haven't messed with the hive bodies in a few weeks. I put on a honey super (shallow) 2 1/2 weeks ago (all 10 with new foundation)--they are just starting to draw comb in the middle 2 frames. We have golden rod, spotted knapweed, and fireweed here in the central Upper peninsula of MI (Marquette). I have sprayied the super foundation with sugar solution two or three times to try to get them going.

    Questions for the experienced beekeepers:
    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.
    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?
    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.
    3. Do I feed the colony in Sept-Oct to get them ready for winter?
    Thanks,
    Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    931

    Default 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.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Puxico,Mo, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Super advice from super beekeepers

    Sounds like your hive is doing nicely. What is going on in the bottom deep? I would check that bottom box and make sure it is not too congested with honey also. If so, they probably do need some more room in the deeps.

    You want to have the two outer most frames in the deeps to have honey, the center six frames should be open for brood and the bees will usually have honey stored in the outer edges of those frames also. As you get closer to winter the empty brood space in the center decrease in size as the queen slows down laying eggs and the bees fill the empty space with food. This is ideal. If you go into winter with the center three or four frames open and the rest of the frames with pollen and honey stores, you should be in good shape. Of course, it all depends on the severity of the winter.

    A strong hive will have both deeps resembling this.
    If your bottom box resembles this, and the top deep is full of honey-they probably have plenty of food for winter. Tempting as is may be, it is best to leave the all that honey for the hive this year.

    If you have plenty of things blooming, they will not likely take sugar syrup now. but they will take it later when things stop blooming and store it. If you feed them - thinking they will use it to draw comb-you can be sure they will store some it in the super too.


    I think I would check that bottom box and see what is going on in that box. If it looks good, I might take a couple frames of honey out of center of top deep and store it in freezer in case I needed to give it back to bees later in winter if they need it.

    If they have time to draw out and fill up a super before your winter starts, I would let them do it for now. I would wait and see what that super looks like in Sept before I decided to feed them. If they can get it filled up before then, leave it all for winter food if they need it.
    If the nectar flow stops and you put on a feeder to get them to finish it out then go ahead in a month or so.
    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: Super advice from super beekeepers

    Quote Originally Posted by srf_onezero View Post
    1. Should I put on a hive-top feeder to accelerate the comb drawn out on honey super?
    I don't feed if I have honey supers on.

    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?
    Heading into winter, I want that upper deep filled with honey, with the broodnest in the bottom deep.

    3. How much honey should I leave the colony for over-wintering?
    What do your local beeks recommend? I'm well south of you and I like to have about 80 lbs by the end of October.

    3. Do I feed the colony in Sept-Oct to get them ready for winter?
    If they need it. Some years we get a nice fall nectar flow and feeding isn't needed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Marquette, MI, USA
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Super advice from super beekeepers

    Thanks for the advice.
    I plan on checking the hive bodies in a day or two. I wanted to be ready with some plan if I saw congestion in the hive. I read somewhere that every time you go in and inspect the frames, you set back production by some many days. So I want to go into my hive bodies once and then have a plan to remedy any issues suggested above.

    Here is my plan
    If I find the top hive body (deep) mostly honey, I will leave it. And if I find a lot of honey/nectar in lower hive body, I will pull out capped honey from lower and put in some new frames of wax foundation in the middle. (I don't have any drawn comb deep frames).
    question: if I have a frame of nectar/uncapped honey--can I shake it out and install it in the center of the hive body in hopes they will clean it up for brood? This will serve as an empty drawn comb frame?

    How much does one deep frame of honey weigh? shallow frame of honey weigh?

    Thanks
    Shawn

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Super advice from super beekeepers

    Shawn a deep super weighs about 90 lbs when full of honey so if it has 10 frames thats about 9 lbs. per frame, now thats not all honey, thats frame/comb/foundation if you use plastic and honey plus 10% of the box weight, I would guess thats about 7 lbs of honey.
    A shallow super (10 frames)full weighs about 25 lbs. and a meduim 10 frame super weighs about 35 lbs.
    Now this all depends on comb depth and if the frame is completly drawn. The weights can vary by 10-15% or more. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    Bsweetapiary@aol.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Littlerock, California, USA
    Posts
    931

    Default Re: Super advice from super beekeepers

    Another thing too. When installing foundation only frames be sure to alternate with drawn comb, preferably capped. That way when the bees draw out the foundation only frame the comb is pretty straight.
    “Everything will be all right in the end... if it's not all right then it's not yet the end”

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