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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    357

    Default Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    I finally pulled the medium supers off my 2 first year hives yesterday. I got 4 fully capped frames and several partial frames. And quite a bit of uncapped honey/nectar. After I pulled them I double checked the weight of the hives (double deeps) and one hive felt a bit light even though a few weeks ago it was very heavy.

    How can I return some of this honey back to the bees so they move it down into the deeps? Iíll be leaving 2 deeps for the winter.

    Itís turning colder in Michigan. This next week there will be several days of daytime temps in the high 40ís and low 50ís.

    If I scratch some of the cappings off a few frames and put them in a super back on top would that be effective? And then pull the super back off in a few weeks?

    Or could I just fill up a super with the best frames and leave that on top for the whole winter?

    If my brood boxes were mediums itíd be a no brainer. Just swap out some frames. Here is a good reason to go all mediums. Which I think will do from now on with new colonies.


    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    I would fill a super with the best filled frames and just put it on top of the brood box and leave it at that considering the time of year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    This time of year, your best bet is an extra super if you have enough full frames for one or a candy board. Candy boards add approximately 15 lbs. in stores (I weighed mine and they are about 1" deep) or the equivalent of 2 extra frames. How light is your hive?

    I just finished a blog post on candy boards if you're interested: Fall Inspections: Bee candy boards and upper entrances

    Edited to add: With the temps you mentioned, the bees won't be moving the honey down. They will stay clustered and move slowly upwards toward either the extra super or the candy board. Also, their consumption will slow down as long as they stay clustered.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    Merince, I didn't weigh the lighter hive but on my last deep inspection a month ago I pulled the upper deep off and sat it on the ground. It had to weigh 80lbs. This time I just picked both the deeps up from the bottom handle and tipped it forward and it did not feel anywhere near that. I could be wrong. Maybe the leverage gave me more advantage then I realize but it surprised me as feeling too light.

    I have 4 full frames of capped honey and 6 partials at maybe 50% capped with the rest uncapped or nectar. I could put that on top for the winter. It's fall GR honey and pretty pungent so I don't mind at all giving it back to the bees.

    I will check out your blog.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    Frankthomas:

    Putting those on top sounds good. I would put the heaviest frames in the middle and the lighter ones off to the sides.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    grand rapids, michigan
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    Hi, a follow up to my original post in this thread. I did put the honey back on and the bees seem to be surviving. Even though it is a couple days past the first day of spring, you'd hardly know it today. Mid 20's and snowing.

    But the bees have come through the worst of winter and in another day we are supposed to see a definite steady increase in temps.

    But here is an important lesson learned. The honey I put back on was dark honey. Mostly goldenrod and buckwheat. Dark honey has more solids than lighter honey. Mre solids fill up the bees git quicker. 2013/14 winter was a long hard one and there were no opportunities for cleansing flights for over 2 months.

    The poor girls got a terrible case of winter dysentery. But they are over it now. Many cleansing have occurred and they seem to be hanging on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: Feeding honey back before its too late... unless it is

    When feeding honey make sure they have water available for pollen flow and brood building.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

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