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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Lombard, Illinois
    Posts
    1

    Default To late to add a deep?

    Greetings,

    I'm a new(er) beekeeper (Midwest) and am not sure what to do here.

    I started a new colony at the end of July. I had a super strong hive and access to a fancy store-bought queen so I split the hive. The new hive started with 3 frames (out of 10) and in the last month they have filled the deep entirely.

    I'm focusing now on how to get this colony to overwinter. I guess I have 3 choices

    1. Do nothing. They are bugs and will do better without me then with me trying to help
    2. I have a medium super with a little honey in it - let them have it to work with.
    3. Add a spare deep I have (no comb) and feed'em

    Any advice?

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

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    Put the super above the inner cover and under the top and let them rob it out
    Then remove the empty super and feed all they'll take
    Hope for the best. A single deep is pretty iffy to overwinter there
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,189

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    If the deep is already full what is the logic of letting them rob the medium super rather than just giving it to them for the winter?
    Would it not be better to have a full deep and a full medium for winter.
    Just asking.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    That depends of course on what the deep is full OF
    Sugar syrup? Brood?pollen? A mixture is of course best
    If one puts the medium on and leaves it , if the comb is drawn the queen will likely move up and begin laying drone brood. Not helpful for overwintering .
    If the partial medium is left on and one feeds sugar water they will likely fill it with syrup and move up to these stores over the course of the winter . Around mid January the queen will comence laying in the medium and may lay mostly drones due to the size of the cells. That's not helpful either.
    If the comb is not drawn in the medium they are unlikely to draw it this late and you'll have lots of empty space for SHB
    I believe they waited too late to split to get the best advantage for their bees but if they feed all they'll take and the winter is favorable they will be ready to expand in the early spring
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    I find myself in the exact situation. However I know where I am at in terms of a hive building stores. It is difficult to give another bee keeper in a different part of the country without knowing a lot of particulars. However , I can tell you what I plan to do and why.
    I am giving the hive a deep to begin to fill. We are now in the early stages of a good nectar flow. I have hives that have little stores in the upper at this time of year due to the dearth that is now ending. I know from years of past experience that a good colony ,(note I said good Not strong) can fill the upper and a medium between now and the first hard frost. I have had a great many colonies fill their upper deep and draw and fill a medium during the goldenrod flow. Drive your area. look for abandoned farm fields, and un-kept lots, look at the ditch banks and median of the highway If you see fields of gold within two miles of your hive you have a good chance. Use a feeder to predict the flow, while hedging your bets, when the flow is on the bees will usually ignore the feeder.
    Since the hive has been building through the summer It is a good bet that the deep is filled with a mix of stores and brood. remember along with this flow comes Pollen.
    Hang on to those half full medium frames as once the flow ends if the upper is not full then would be the time to place it above the inner cover to get robbed.
    Last edited by Tenbears; 09-03-2013 at 12:53 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Woodford, IL, USA
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    How big is the population? If there are plenty of bees on all frames I would put another deep brood box on and feed them all they'll take. Take a fully drawn frame from another hive (with brood in it) and put it in the middle of the new brood box. This will get them to move up into the box. See if they start drawing comb. If they don't you haven't lost anything and could always pull the deep and put the honey super on for winter. The queen will likely lay brood in it though come spring.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,735

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    [QUOTE=. A single deep is pretty iffy to overwinter there[/QUOTE]

    Mike. I am about 90 miles from you and I have overwintered 50 + hives each year for the past 20 years in single deeps. No problems.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: To late to add a deep?

    A single will overwinter here without trouble in most years, but if you have a medium with drawn comb and some honey, there is really no reason NOT to put it on and feed them up. We could have a very cold winter, after all, it's been known to happen.

    I would not put a box of empty foundation on this time of year, it's just extra space since I don't think they will draw it out much now, even with lots of feeding. It's warm enough right now, but won't be in a couple weeks.

    If your fancy store-bought queen is Italian, though, I'd plan on feeding late in the month. They are well known for not shutting down early enough.

    Peter

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