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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake County, Utah
    Posts
    50

    Default Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    We've harvested our honey, and are starting to prepare for winter. We are planning on wintering each hive with 2 deeps and 1 medium. While inspecting the hives this week, I was expecting the second deep (top) to be mostly full of stores, but instead, I found this box was mostly full of brood, and a few frames of stores on either side. The bottom box was fully drawn out, but empty, besides some pollen.

    Will the queen move down, and the bees back fill the current brood areas with honey for winter? Is there anything I need to watch for to see that this is happening? I get that this is location specific, but are there any rules of thumb, such as the second deep should be full by X weeks before "winter?"

    The one local source I have talked to (commercial keeper) takes ALL their honey off in mid to late Sept, and feeds all winter long. That isn't something I want to do.

    If I do feed, say 2:1 sugar water until the top box and medium super are full, do I need to keep feeding them all winter long?

    If I do feed now, what is a good way to ensure that the stored honey doesn't remain in the super when they start collecting nectar next fall? I'm hoping to split a few next year, so I guess I could just make sure that any of the remaining honey goes into mating nucs.

    I also have about 20 frames, which I will be storing over to next year. Some have been laid in, and some have not. If I freeze them overnight in a chest freezer, can I store them in my basement, or are there specific precautions I should take.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to these questions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake County, Utah
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    Bump - Do I need to worry about the bottom brood box being empty as winter approaches?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    I don't know anything about wintering in your location, but here I want the queen laying in the bottom deep this time of the year. I would reverse the two deeps to get the brood on the bottom and feed 2:1 syrup until the top deep is filled, and the medium if more than 60 pounds of food is usually need for winter. I want all feeding finished before we have our first hard frost.

    Next spring the bees will use their surplus stored winter food to raise brood for the spring build up. You will not have to worry about syrup fed this fall mixing with the incomming nectar.

    I would freeze the combs longer than overnight to kill wax moths, at least 3 or 4 days. I use bacillus thuringiensis, aizawai and spray my drawn comb when it is put in storage.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    In chicago, a two-deep hive should weigh over 130 lbs to make it through the winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    I think you should have left the honey on them. Now you might have to feed to get them through winter. I'm guessing it's a first year hive?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    I don't worry about where they are. I do worry about how light they are. Find out from the locals what it takes to overwinter in your location and feed to that goal.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,619

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by OSafado View Post
    Bump - Do I need to worry about the bottom brood box being empty as winter approaches?
    If it is empty of brood, I would remove it. Though some would recommend leaving somewhere for mice to live.

    The brood is where it is supposed to be, unless you moved it. Bees don't put things in the wrong place, humans do. Honey/food on top. Brood below.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Salt Lake County, Utah
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    Thank you all for your responses.

    I'll look at how to weigh the hives. I'm guessing Jadell is correct, that I shouldn't have taken the honey of 2 of the 3 hives, as they were splits off of the original hive. I thought it would be ok, since they both had drawn out frames to work with, and we harvested early, hoping to leave the fall flow to them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,540

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    The brood is where it is supposed to be, unless you moved it. Bees don't put things in the wrong place, humans do. Honey/food on top. Brood below.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,288

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    OSafado; You won't have to weigh your hive. Feed 2:1 syrup until the top deep is full and the 2 side frames on each side of the bottom deep are full and the hive will weigh 125 to 135 pounds. The 130 pounds of weight c10250 gave includes weight of frames and hive bodies plus the stored food. If your local beekeepers say you need more then feed to fill your medium super.

    The only drawback of taking all the honey is the work of having to feed. Your main worry is the time frame of winter arriving before the bees have enough syrup stored.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    Lift something you know weighs about 50 pounds. Lift the back of the hive. It should feel like about 50 pounds if you want the hive to weigh 100 lbs. A frugal cluster in my climate needs to weigh about that. An Italian type cluster needs to weigh a bit more in my climate. If you don't think you can accurately figure it, then use a cheap bath room scale and tip the hive forward and set it back on the scale. To be really accurate, go around front and tip it back so all the weight is on the scale...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, CT
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    Post deleted

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,223

    Default Re: Fall Brood Location - Where Should the Queens be Laying as Winter Approaches?

    as a quick fall inspection the bees should on the bottom board. this says that the upper super is full of honey and the queen was pushed down to the bottom. this is the goal to winter well but this is for upper ny and not sure about your area.

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