Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default How much to leave for winter?

    I'm a brand new beekeeper, as of this April, and am looking ahead to harvest/winterizing. I'm having a hard time finding info on how much honey I need to leave for my bees this winter. I know the "Beekeeping for All" recommends ~12 kg, but Warre was is a different climate than I. He was in hardiness zone 8, I'm in 6b (Salt Lake City, UT). Advice for Langstroth's is easy to find, but doesn't seem to correlate at all to what little info I can find about overwintering Warre's. It seems that the amount of honey left in a Langstroth varies WIDELY with climate. What little info I can find about Warre hives just references "Beekeeping for All", with no notes on different needs in different climates.

    I can't find any other locals doing Warre's that have much experience, and I don't want to lose my new friends over winter. So, any experience, tips, or advice you can share about how much your bees have used in past winters (along with what your location/hardiness zone is) would be greatly appreciated.

    Will

  2. #2

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    I live in zone 5, I leave my colony's 3 boxs to winter in. Then in the spring, if they have not used top box, I then harvest it.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    You need to adjust things to your climate and the size of the cluster. It's better to come up with a formula that works for you that is based on the number of frames of bees vs the number of frames of capped stores. I like a minimum of a frame of capped stores for every frame of clustered bees, but I prefer 2 frames of capped stores so they have some to spend building up in the spring. Any more is unnecessary in my climate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    Chaindrivecharlie and Michael,

    Thanks for your input. @Chaindrivecharlie: Yours is the first mention I've seen of wintering in 3 boxes. I'll have to think seriously about that. That may well be the way to go, as I have 1 box of full honey (as far as I can tell w/o pulling bars), 1 that I think is likely mixed, (but all I can see from the windows is honey), and 1 that has lots of uncapped cells (which I take to be mostly brood). I guess it's better to err on the side of being conservative, even though I *badly* want to try some of that tasty honey that's waiting for me.

    @michael: I'm trying to get to such a formula - which makes perfect sense to me as a professional nerd. However, since this is my first year, I'm kinda without any data points. Hence, the request fro info from others. I'm trying to figure out where to start, and will refine from there. I guess that reinforces Chaindrivecharlie's idea: Leave it all and see what they really needed. That'll be data point #1.

    Thanks again for your insights! Any others from the rest of the community would be great as well.

    Will

  5. #5

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    Will, this is a good year here even with a slight draught. I have one Warre that is 5 boxs high, and another that is 3 high. My figuring is like Michaels, our weather is close to the same in winter. 2 combs of honey per comb of bees in cluster. I will see what my Carni's do for wintering this year. And my VHS breed of bees too, I lost my muts after they swarmed. The new queen must of never returned from her mating flight. And the swarm I had from that hive, absconded on me and my Buddy who caught and hived them 1 week later. Lot of strange stuff happening with the bees this year. Funny thing with the swarm, I caught and put them in a Warre. They leave and get caught and hived in a Lang, and leave again a week later. So I figure thet had found a tree they really wanted to live in. And yes it is better to err on the side of to much stores than to little. Besides the honey will be just as good come spring. I would imagine if you had russians or some frugal breed of bees. You could probally winter on 2 boxs easily, even in a colder climate.
    Last edited by chaindrivecharlie; 07-22-2012 at 07:26 PM. Reason: spelling
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    Here in Zone 3 in Minnesota I am leaving 3 boxes with my Warres.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    Thanks, Dan. It looks like that's what I'll plan on doing as well. It's probably a bit overkill here in zone 6, but I'd rather that then have to emergency feed. Hopefully I'll get a little spring "bonus".

    Quote Originally Posted by Bush_84 View Post
    Here in Zone 3 in Minnesota I am leaving 3 boxes with my Warres.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,416

    Default Re: How much to leave for winter?

    nerd, looks like you are getting some really good advice here. one thing to factor in is that not all winters are the same. what i did last year was to weigh my hives going into winter, and then check the weight as spring approached. if you have an idea of how much honey you have to start with, you can estimate how much has been used.

    most folks in my area overwinter in a single deep lang with one medium of honey on top. that turned out to be more than enough stores for the mild winter we had last year for my five established colonies.

    i also had five nucs that i overwintered that were 5 - 7 frames each. they were slighty more that half filled with stores going into winter, and i ended up having to give them sugar patties in the spring.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads