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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default My first winter....Care questions.

    Hello to all...

    For mothers day last year I got my wife a hive. (It's actually mine since I maintain it.) we got about 47 lbs of honey!

    Anyway, we just came out of some brutally cold weather, and I was told I should put my top section feeder on in case they went through the full super I left on for them. I mixed 5lbs of sugar to 2 pitchers water on each side of the feeder.

    Lots of bees. On warmer days, they clean house and carry out dead.

    Anything I can do besides keep the feeder full? When do you swap the first super and the brooder? When do you put your first honey super on? I do not use an excluder.

    When should I check in there deeper and what's the first thing to check on? They sure seem healthy. We had a strong hive last year. Good numbers.

    Thanks, Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,026

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Timco View Post
    Anyway, we just came out of some brutally cold weather, and I was told I should put my top section feeder on in case they went through the full super I left on for them. I mixed 5lbs of sugar to 2 pitchers water on each side of the feeder. Anything I can do besides keep the feeder full?
    If it's still cold, they aren't likely to take much syrup. For emergency winter feed most beekeepers use dry sugar, fondant or bee candy.

    When do you swap the first super and the brooder?
    If you swap boxes at all, it should be later in spring when nighttime temps aren't cold. And don't reverse them if it means breaking up the broodnest.

    When do you put your first honey super on?
    Depends on your local climate. I like to have mine on by the time dandelions bloom.

    When should I check in there deeper and what's the first thing to check on?
    I like doing a thorough inspection once we get a warm spring day (not a warm winter day when there's likely to be more lengthy periods of cold weather). I want to see signs that queen is laying - brood in all stages. I want to see what kind of stores they have remaining. I'm looking if there are any drones or drone brood because I'm planning on some spring splits.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Flowery branch, georgia
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    Pollen patties doesn't hurt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    i just checked the weather for salt lake city and it's way to cold to have syrup in the hive.

    the bees can't take the syrup when it's much below 55 degrees. having the syrup in the hive will make it colder in there, and it could add unwanted humidty as well.

    i would take the feeder off, and try to figure out how much honey is still in the hive. it is better not to feed them unless they are going to run out of food.

    one way to check stores without pulling frames is to look at the top of the frames in the top box, and see if you can see any capped honey.

    another way is to see how much your hive weighs at this point, and compare that to how much the boxes and frames would weigh empty.

    welcome to the forum timco.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    So today the hive was in direct sun and the bees were out. When I looked under the lid they were lined up along the sugar water line. The hive gets sun in afternoon so I'm sure it got fairly warm. Should I still remove that feeder and use something else if it looks like the frames are sparse? Any real harm in leaving it since we are past the single digit weather?

    How do I know if I want to swap the brooder and first super this spring? What dictates that?

    Where would I find the recipie for the pollen patty or bee candy?

    Thank you all for great replies. Anything else I should be doing please feel free to speak up!

    Tim

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    it depends on how hard it is for them to process the syrup once they take it into the hive, and to what degree that processing will raise the humidity in the hive. also, it is better that they eat real honey right now for their health and the health of the brood. if they have enough real honey i think it's better not to have the syrup on there. (it's not going to be as stressful to feed syrup when the temps get a little warmer) you mostly don't want them to starve right now, but if you left enough honey last fall they should be alright.

    how many and what size boxes are they in? and about how much does the whole thing weigh? knowing this will help you know if you have much honey in there or not. or, if you get a chance just look inside and see.


    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Granby, CT
    Posts
    547

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    Great advice, Squarepeg,

    Gilman

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: My first winter....Care questions.

    As far as reversing. what dictates that is your personal beekeeping philosophy. Some folks reverse some don't, she will make her way down there eventually. I would echo Indy and refrain if it breaks up the brood nest.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

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