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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Topeka Kansas
    Posts
    10

    Default Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    So we got our first hive this spring and filled up two brood boxes and a med super. We took the honey off the med super and left the brood boxes alone. We placed a new undrawn med on top hoping to get a fall flow. Well things here in NE Kansas have not been very good. I looked tonight and only had one frame with any honey capped and it was very limited.

    My Question is how do I get ready for the winter? Do I need to start feeding them now? Remove the med super then feed? Feed with Super? I have a feeder for the deep )brood box, I think that is what they are called) but they are full and doing well.

    Also, how do I store the med and frames when I do remove it. I though about placing it in the freezer but I really do not have room. It appears that most of it is drawn out.

    Thanks in advance for the help, We have really enjoyed keeping the bees and definitely enjoyed the honey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    >My Question is how do I get ready for the winter? Do I need to start feeding them now?

    I would have been better to leave them some honey. It also would have been better to start feeding them a month ago... but yes, you should if they are not up to the weight they should be, and it sounds like they are not. Find out from the locals what the target weight needs to be. My guess would be 90-125 pounds where you are.

    >Remove the med super then feed? Feed with Super? I have a feeder for the deep )brood box, I think that is what they are called) but they are full and doing well.

    What matters is that you feed and that they have comb to store it in and room for the bees. If you have room for the bees with the super off and there is no honey in the super, then I would pull it. If it's half full or more of honey, I would leave it for stores. They have a race ahead of them to get the syrup dried and capped. I would not feed anything less than 5:3 and 2:1 would be nice if you can get it to dissolve, so they don't have so much to dry.

    >Also, how do I store the med and frames when I do remove it. I though about placing it in the freezer but I really do not have room. It appears that most of it is drawn out.

    It will freeze soon enough won't it? Have you had a freeze yet?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Topeka Kansas
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    Thanks for the information. I wish I would have left them more honey. Newby mistake. Will they have enough honey in the two large brood boxes to last all winter?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,938

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    If you take an old bathroom scale and set it under your two deep colony and rock it up on edge to get a weight, you can get a good estimate of where you stand. If your bees, boxes and all are over 125 pounds, I would guess you have enough. If you have less, you should feed heavy sugar syrup and see if you can get them above that weight. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,514

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    the experienced beekeepers near you should be able to tell about how much honey or hive weight is recommended to over winter there. if your medium super is drawn out, and you have enough warm weather left, you can feed them and they will put it in the super.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Topeka Kansas
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    Thanks again. I am looking now on how to make and inter cover(cannot find) and I think I will put it in place and buy\build a feeder for them. I also think that I will place straw bales around the hive to keep it warm all winter.

    I there a place that I can see ideas and plans for DIY feeders and the such.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    707

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    Feeding is a good idea, but I would not use bales of hay for winter protection. Trapping moisture in or against the hive is a major reason for winter losses. Cold does not kill bees, mositure and rapid temperture change are the issue. Mice is also a problem when using hay near the hives.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    >am looking now on how to make and inter cover(cannot find)

    That would be an "inner" cover. Plans here:
    http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yo...-barry-birkey/

    But why do you think you need one? What kind of cover do you have now? Odds are you can just put some insulation on top and call it good. A piece of styrofoam works nicely.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Topeka Kansas
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    Thanks for the plans. I do not have an inter cover. Just the top(other cover) made from 3/4 wood. Did not know I needed an inter cover.

    @walibee-Thanks I will not use the bales.

    @Micheal Bush-- I hope that an intercover will help keep the heat in the double deeps and allow then to use and feed on the honey and syrup in the medium on top, is that not a good idea?

    I currently have a double deep full and a few very partial frames of a medium capped. If I use and inter cover do I place in on top of the double deeps to help keep the heat in? and then put the medium super on top of it?

    Thanks very much for the help. This has been alot of fun and very interesting.
    Last edited by tdnp; 10-15-2011 at 02:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    loveland, co, usa
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    ok, im new here, and i may be misunderstanding, but i was under the impression that 2 full deeps would be plenty for the bees to winter on.. unless i misunderstood your statement. you have 2 full deeps already, and you put on another medium to get a little extra honey. right? or is it in your entire hive you only have 1 frame of honey, and 29 drawn out frames

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    >Thanks for the plans. I do not have an inter cover. Just the top(other cover) made from 3/4 wood.

    A solid top with no inner cover will work fine.

    >Did not know I needed an inter cover.

    You do not need an inner cover.

    >@Micheal Bush-- I hope that an intercover will help keep the heat in the double deeps and allow then to use and feed on the honey and syrup in the medium on top, is that not a good idea?

    It's not a bad idea. The inner cover is just not necessary. A scrap of styrofoam will do more to keep them warm than the inner cover.

    >I currently have a double deep full and a few very partial frames of a medium capped. If I use and inter cover do I place in on top of the double deeps to help keep the heat in? and then put the medium super on top of it?

    No. That would isolate some stores away from the main hive on the other side of an inner cover. I would not do that. There is nothing to gain by it. If the medium is mostly empty and the deeps are mostly full, I would harvest the medium. If the medium is mostly full you could take it off or leave it on, and it probably doesn't matter that much.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Attleboro, MA
    Posts
    278

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    Micheal-
    Quick question. If replacing the inner with a pc. Of styro or insulation would it need yo be notched out or a hole drilled through it to have a place for bees to get out moisture to escape?
    Zone 7A - Southern, MA. Elevation 138 ft.
    4 hives: 1 Carniolan/Italian Hybrid, 2 Swarms from that hive and 1 Russian.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,069

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    >If replacing the inner with a pc. Of styro or insulation would it need yo be notched out or a hole drilled through it to have a place for bees to get out moisture to escape?

    I put the styrofoam on top of the cover. I have top entrances all the time now, but when I didn't I would have a notched inner cover. If you want to put the styrofoam under the inner cover, I would cut a notch that will let the moisture out. But I would worry about the smoother surface (if you us the more dense pink or blue stuff) having more condensation than the wood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lyme, NH, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    One option is to feed the honey back to the bees. Place an inner cover, with a central hole, on top of the upper deep. Place the partially full medium on top of this cover, and replace the outer cover. The bees will clean out the medium and store the excess honey in the deeps. In a few days, the medium will be clean and dry, and you can remove it and store it for the winter.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Latty, OH US
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Harvested honey now what????? Winter questions

    tdnp: 2 double deeps is plenty of stores for winter generally. Question is, what is your bee population. A very heavy populated hive will take more feed and stores. There are many management questions. Did you treat for mites? When? Do your bees look healthy? Any sign of mites or viruses? Honey should have ideally been removed from hive I am guessing by late August and treated for mites once honey was removed.

    Yes, the hive should have been fed syrup earlier, but you still have time if they need the feed. I gauge by strength of hive, but I do like to see capped combs in the top of the 2 brood nest boxes.

    The inner cover goes under the Telescope lid, on top of the upper most super. You can run a 2 - 1/2 story hive (which you described, 2 standards and a medium) but a double (2 standard brood boxes will work just fine).

    Call Arlen Penner or Eric Wenger and Golden Heritage in Hillsboro and let them know I told you to call. Number is 620-947-3173.

    Good luck with your bees! You can learn a lot from your local associations.

    Kirk

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