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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Olmsted Falls, OH
    Posts
    52

    Default Lookin for some advice preppin my hives for fall

    Checked out my hives today after two weeks off.

    Hive 1: Package bees started mid April

    Two deeps and one Medium. I figured I would be pulling the medium this week or next but need to go get a fume board or an escape to get bees out.

    Medium was not completely drawn out but figure I will just drop it in the freezer and let them finish it out next year.

    Top Deep: Found queen and lots and lots of capped brood and larva. Only the outside frames were completely honey. I stopped feeding this hive a month and a half ago as the two deeps were packed. I placed the medium on at that point just to see how it would go. I was afraid the queen was becoming honey bound. Anyways, now they must have cleaned out a lot of the honey and the queen has been going bonkers with brood. Found my queen in the top deep also.

    Lower Deep: Covered in a ton of bees but the girls were going kamakazee on me so I didn't pull any frames. Figured I will go over it a little deeper when my wife can come and help.

    Here are my questions:
    1. Should I swap the deeps so the brood is on the bottom.
    2. Is it to early to start feeding 2:1 to build up their stores
    3. Any other tips for my first fall prep?

    Hive 2: Package bees started mid April

    Two deeps: Had a hard time getting them to draw out second deep all summer. Finally got second deep on 5 weeks ago. They have been stubborn but I manipulated the frames moving them around to get them to draw out the empty frames. I have 1 1/2 frames left to fill out but should be done next week.

    I have been feeding this hive 1:1 all spring and summer. They are downing about three gallons a week. They would down more but I can't get to my location to refill more then once a day.

    Top Deep:

    Very good honey stores and 50% capped on the outside frames. Lots of brood in the lower half of the frames also though. Did not find the queen but did not get into the lower box. They were crabby like hive one. Lots of capped brood and larva though.

    Bottom Deep:

    Covered in bees but will check more closely next Sunday

    Questions:

    1. Should I swap my deeps on this hive?
    2. Should I switch to a top feeder from my boardman?
    3. Will they finish out drawing the last three 1/2 frames if I switch to 2:1?

    I want to do a mite check but was going to wait till the end of September and have the hives closed up by mid-october. I am going to use the Hop gaurd if the drop board shows large amount of mites.

    I want to do everything I can to pull these girls through the winter. Any advice is appreciated. You have all been a big help all summer! Anything else I should be doing?

    Jay

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

    Default Re: Lookin for some advice preppin my hives for fall

    Quote Originally Posted by Polarbee View Post
    Medium was not completely drawn out but figure I will just drop it in the freezer and let them finish it out next year.
    I'd be inclined to leave it on for awhile yet. Might be a late summer/fall flow of goldenrod & asters. Or, if there's some uncapped honey it, you could put it on top of the inner cover, and they will often empty it and move the honey down.

    ...the girls were going kamakazee on me so ... Figured I will go over it a little deeper when my wife can come and help.
    Made me laugh!

    1. Should I swap the deeps so the brood is on the bottom.
    I wouldn't.

    2. Is it to early to start feeding 2:1 to build up their stores?
    I'd wait at least a month.

    1. Should I swap my deeps on this hive?
    Again, I wouldn't.

    2. Should I switch to a top feeder from my boardman?
    Although I prefer top feeders, if you've used a boardman all summer without problems, I don't see any particular reason to switch.

    3. Will they finish out drawing the last three 1/2 frames if I switch to 2:1?
    Probably, but I wouldn't switch to 2:1 yet. I'd wait until late Sept at the earliest.

    I want to do a mite check but was going to wait till the end of September
    Why wait? If there's a mite problem, better to know (and treat) earlier rather than later. That said, for new colonies, started from packages, I've never had a mite problem the first year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: Lookin for some advice preppin my hives for fall

    I wouldn't do anything personally right now. Leave the medium on the hive. I would just let the girls work the fall flow. When it is about over weigh the hives and two deeps and a medium should be over 150 lbs. If underweight feed 2:1 fast and furious.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: Lookin for some advice preppin my hives for fall

    I should add that now is the time to do a mite treatment. Gives the bees a chance to recover with a few brood cycles to get those winter bees.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Olmsted Falls, OH
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Lookin for some advice preppin my hives for fall

    Thanks guys, just saw a bunch of people already starting the fall prep and thought I was falling behind. If my allergies are a good judge goldenrod is starting to pop here now.

    I used top feeders to start with but my weaker hive took to the boardman a lot better so I switched. I was going to go back to top feeder this fall so I can leave the box on through the winter. Figured it would be extra dead space for air insulation.

    Jay

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