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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
    Posts
    28

    Default How much honey to leave on hive?

    Just wondering how much honey I can take and extract and how much to leave the bees for the winter/ early spring? Could I take all honey supers and only leave the honey stored around the brood nest? Or, should I leave a full box of honey above the brood? What are the benefits to leaving their own honey versus feeding in the fall? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    965

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    Different factors determine the amount to leave for the bees. If the hive can be put into an unused building or insulated, one deep should do it. You may end up feeding in the spring,,,just keep an eye on them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Queenie View Post
    Just wondering how much honey I can take and extract and how much to leave the bees for the winter/ early spring? Could I take all honey supers and only leave the honey stored around the brood nest? Or, should I leave a full box of honey above the brood? What are the benefits to leaving their own honey versus feeding in the fall? Thanks!
    How much honey to leave really is a local question. One should consult experienced local beeks for the best possible answer. In our mountain region, maybe climate zone 6b,, most old timers overwinter in a 10 frame deep plus a 10 frame shallow. For me, I prefer a 10 frame deep and 10 frame medium. Or two 8 frame deeps (I really like eight frame equipment). Just a rough guess, but for your harsher winters, one would need two 10 frame deeps.

    As for the benefits of leaving more honey, honey is much healthier than syrup.

    Shane

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    I am nto really sure how much they should have. I know that my goal has been for them to have one deep for brood and one for there honey stores. and as of today they finally have reached that goal. I am so tickled I could just spit. I placed them in a ten frame deep back in may. they quickly drew out two deeps of frames but then took the last 4 to 5 weeks ignoring the med super I added. It really has had me on edge because I was not sure if this was a problem or not. I have to say that going through that upper deep this morning finding very heavy frame after frame of honey was a big relief.

    We have fairly mild winters here so I am suspecting my bees will be active more than is typical. this also means they will need more honey to get through winter. This one deep amounts to 90 lbs I think. I need to verify that. I hope they will also manage to fill at least one med super as insurance but think I am on the safe side at the very lest. i can always get them through with feeding if I absolutely have to. but 120 lbs of honey I am thinking would be plenty.

    Just some comment from another person looking at the same issue you are.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    I am just up the road from the op. we wintered 3 hives in double deeps and one in a single deep last winter. Most old timers will say a double is what you need in this area, but a few will say a single is fine. We plan to take all 6 into winter in 2 story deeps this winter.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,294

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    I would listen to a local like grozzie2.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    I wouldn't put to much credence into my experience, this is only our second year with bees. But, we did get 4 out of 4 thru the mild winter, and after a year and a half of tending, fussing, and reading, today we extracted honey for the first time. Just one super, but, it's a start. That hive is booming, and we have run out of supers, so we extracted and put it back on. The others will likely be ready to extract in a couple more weeks, and the way this hive is going, the one we extracted will be refilled by then.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,595

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    It also depends on how much you are able and willing to feed - and if it is possible to feed during the winter where you are. It is surely less work to leave enough honey to avoid feeding entirely, but it is probably most profitable to take as much honey as possible and feed back sugar which costs 1/10 as much. Nutritionally it is probably like the difference between apple juice and kool aid - one is more natural but a nutritionist will probably say that they are both just sugar calories.
    5Y-25H-T-Z6b-0 winter losses in '14

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,468

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    Could I take all honey supers and only leave the honey stored around the brood nest?

    Yes. Like David points out, it is a money thing. You can also go into winter with younger bees if you take all but one deep brood chamber, and stimulate them with feed early enough in the fall.

    Crazy Roland

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,425

    Default Re: How much honey to leave on hive?

    You can't feed in the winter so you have to leave them enough. I believe you can't leave them too much and spring is the best time to determine what is too much and not enough or you play Russian roulette. What they don't consume will be in the hive in the spring.
    Now if you are talking economics as to how much honey you can take and replace with feed that will have to be answered by someone else. To me that is a gamble.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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