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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    I'm in upstate NY and I winter my hives with two deeps and one super full of honey (I'm conservative politically, too). So yesterday it's in the mid70s, but a cold front is on the way and I thought I would remove the queen excluders and the extra supers. But when I took off the hive cover I noticed that the bees were still hard at work drawing out and fixing new comb (I extracted recently) and I also noticed that bees were still heading into the hive with their little saddlebags full (probably golden rod). And the field behind me is still covered with clover blossoms.

    So it seemed like there were alotta bees and they were still working.

    My question is... is there any great drawback to leaving those supers on for awhile? I'm sure there will be some 50plus days in the future (it's supposed to drop tomorrow). I'm worried that these hard working bees may not know what to do if they are still finding pollen and there is no work left for them to do because I've taken off the empty hive space. I don't think I'm worried about them swarming, but they are bees and I wouldn't put it past them! I have noticed a few dead drones and I also noticed some bees doing their orienteering flights yesterday. I have also thought I could remove a couple frames from the full honey super, let them work on that in a now smaller hive because the other supers are gone, and then stick the honey back into the hive on some random warm day when I know the cluster is smaller.

    This place is great -- thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    My advice would be to remove the supers you aren't leaving on the hive for the winter.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    My experience has been if I leave the supers on too long here in KY the queen delays her winter slowdown and keeps laying till early winter.
    This makes the hive go into winter with too many bees for the storage in two deeps and unless fed they starve in March.
    Keep a close eye on the weight of the hive this winter and you will be alright.
    If you get light you can MountainCamp feed them.
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    My experience has been if I leave the supers on too long here in KY the queen delays her winter slowdown and keeps laying till early winter.
    This makes the hive go into winter with too many bees for the storage in two deeps and unless fed they starve in March.
    Keep a close eye on the weight of the hive this winter and you will be alright.
    If you get light you can MountainCamp feed them.
    Good Luck, Mike
    Ah! That is good to know. I'm going to pull the frames this weekend if we get some 50+ weather. The past two winters I have (during the rare feb thaw) given each hive a few pounds of sugar to get them through to Spring. So far so good.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    Watch them close in the spring and put the supers back on early and reverse the brood boxes or split them big hives are tough to keep from spring swarming.
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    Quote Originally Posted by rhetoric View Post
    Ah! That is good to know. I'm going to pull the frames this weekend if we get some 50+ weather.
    Good luck w/ that, it's raining pretty hard here in The North Country. Maybe it passed you by already.

    Get those boxes off as soon as you can and don't worry about the temperature. It is plenty warm enough to remove supers. What little nectar they may gather from now on is best stored close to the brood nest area anyway.

    Are you going to go to the Fall Mtng of the Empire State Honey Producers Association in a month? Featured speaker, Michael Bush.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rochester, NY, USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Good luck w/ that, it's raining pretty hard here in The North Country. Maybe it passed you by already.

    Get those boxes off as soon as you can and don't worry about the temperature. It is plenty warm enough to remove supers. What little nectar they may gather from now on is best stored close to the brood nest area anyway.

    Are you going to go to the Fall Mtng of the Empire State Honey Producers Association in a month? Featured speaker, Michael Bush.
    Tell me more! I'm relatively new to this and have heard I should join a group -- but didn't know the details. Web site?

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Are you going to go to the Fall Mtng of the Empire State Honey Producers Association in a month? Featured speaker, Michael Bush.
    Mark,

    I would be interested in this too. How do you attend? i.e. is there a sign up sheet, a fee, etc?

    I saw this, but didn't see any info aside from the hotel accommodations yet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,276

    Default Re: Is it possible to remove the supers too early?

    eshpa.org is the website. The Newsletter should be available on the website soon. A registration form for the mtng is in the newsletter. Or one can register at the door friday morning.
    Mark Berninghausen
    The answers are the end. The questions are the journey. Journey on.



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