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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    115

    Question frame consolidation and winter feeding

    Hello fellow beeks ..

    I have a few questions and hope there are some answers for me - all are appreciated ..

    I have 4 hives, 2 in double deeps and the other as single deeps. 3 seem to be doing fairly well but one seems to be struggling some. By strugling, i mean that it has 7 frames in a 10-frame box. I've removed the other 3 frames due to some real issues I've had with SHB and didn't want to give the SHB more landscape that the bees could tend to. I've also been feeding 1-1 for a couple of weeks because there wasn't much honey 'made' and i dont think there's enough for them to survive the winter w/o some supplemental feeding. So, the questions are this ..

    1. with the single deep having only 6 to 7 frames in it - and about 70% coverage with bees - what options do i have? I can't reduce to a 4 or 5-frame nuc unless i move some of those 'resources' (honey-capped and uncapped) over to other frames. Or, should I just reduce the hive to a smaller box (4 or 5-frame) box? I was really trying to keep/maintain 4 hives - but not sure.
    2. Am I wrong in feeding this early - either with 1-1 as a supplemental since there isn't more than 2 to 4 frames of capped honey in any of the hives? I have more frames of capped honey, but some frames are only 30-65% of capped honey - and not 'full' frames.
    3. Should I switch to 'winter' mix of 2-1 now, or wait?
    4. Should I set out (can't feed mix internally due to SHB problems) some pollen substitute for the bees?


    I know the bees are still bringing in some pollen and 'natural' nector now but am concerned that their won't be enough for them to 'make' the winter brood - and survive over the winter.

    Am I worrying too much about nothing - or is this 'normal' for a first timer ???

    thanks in advance -

    btw - the nematodes I've used have helped alot with the SHB, but am still trapping alot her in my neighborhood of SC.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,674

    Default Re: frame consolidation and winter feeding

    Good questions... Feeding yes, 1-1 or 2-1, well your at the time to switch, but your call. I would stick with 1-1 on hives light with bees. 2-1 if bee populations are up. Your week hive could use a boost, or knock it out. off the fence, either help the hive by giving more bees to work, thereby increasing the populations, or let it go. roughly speaking you have 8 weeks to put on the weight you want for winter. you mentioned 65% capped, but not how many frames worth? thats the key. they will get it capped when its ready. if you have 10 frames but not quite finished, I wouldn't worry. if thats 3 frames in a double deep, your short... you need to project what will be capped in 4 weeks, and plan from there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: frame consolidation and winter feeding

    thanks gmcharlie -

    some more clarifications ..

    I've been feeding the hive in question, with a top feeder for a couple of weeks now with the 1-1 - but I dont know that I'm see too much change. It might be time to decrease it's "box" size and hope for the best. If in a couple of weeks I dont see any noticible improvement - I can combine it with another hive. I don't really have to much other 'spare' brood to help it out with - but will look and make a determination based off of what's in the other hives.
    Whenever I mention a % of capped honey - it is temperred as such. I might have several frames, that are only 40% drawn out, but 65% of that is filled with either capped honey, pollen, or sugar water. It's probably strange I know, for all the frames to not be drawn out - but it might also be 'normal' considering the bees stopped drawing out the rest of the frames for ... some reason. Which brings to question another question - --

    Should I replace any frames that aren't fully drawn out, with ones that are? That way if need be, they can fill up all they need since I dont believe the bees will be drawing out many more frames for the rest of the year ... ??

    How does everyone deal with partially drawn out frames for the winter? I do you replace them with fully drawn out frames, in case the bees need them for something - or leave them as they are?

    S

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: frame consolidation and winter feeding

    If you have fully drawn out frames to spare - definately give them to the hive. How far south and close to the coast are you? Our winter doesn't really start here in VA until mid November. So I think you have time, and it may be that you will need to feed throughout the winter.

    Just keep feeding them. A single deep willl survive your winter if it is full of stores. Try to get your doubles full by continuing to feed. If they are mostly there by your first frost then put dry sugar on for the rest of the winter and then "see you in the first warm sunny day in February".

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: frame consolidation and winter feeding

    Thanks for the info. I'm located just north of Columbia and our winters here are typically not very severe. Out weather is "cooler" than Columbia SC by about 8 degrees but overall not too bad.

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