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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    4

    Default Thought I was ready for winter?

    I'm a new beekeeper with endless questions, I was in my hive almost 3 weeks ago and things looked good a lot of capped honey/pollen and brood in all stages. I went in yesterday for a quick look - lifted top box (10 frame) very heavy almost to much to lift, bottom box mostly empty a little honey capped at the crown on six frames. Found marked queen in top box with some capped and uncapped brood. I put entrance reducer on approx 2 weeks ago and I've been feeding 2.1. Is this normal?? I've got a bad feeling.....

    Thanks for any help/thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,972

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    If I am reading you right it sounds like you have a full box of honey on top and a typical brood nest below. I would not expect to find a lot of brood this time of year. I would be more concerned with the bee population is there enough bees to make a survivable cluster. For now I persoanlly put that at 10 frames of bees but have seen far fewer than that survive. I am not sure I would expect 10 frames from a first season colony. If your population seems light expect your bees to try and correct that through the winter. this means they may go through more stores than they woudl otherwise and need feeding earlier in the spring. possibly as early as January or February depending on how long they can sustain population growth. In other words expect to keep a closer eye on how much honey they have later in the winter. I would only be feeding now if they start depleting that box of honey to any degree.

    Also how is the pollen situation? Otherwise I am not seeing anything in your description that would worry me.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    adair county, kentucky, usa
    Posts
    461

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    Sounds pretty good to me. It sounds like you have a deep box full of honey and some in the bottom box. You have a queen and she is still laying some. What is your bad feeling about?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Spanish Fort, AL
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    I think he is saying that they have moved in to the top box with the stores, limited brood. Bottom box is mostly abandoned.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,972

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    I woudl not describe a box full of brood as almost to heavy to lift. That is why I assumed it was honey. Also he clearly describes the brood as in the lower box with the nest capped with honey as it should be.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    If I am reading you right it sounds like you have a full box of honey on top and a typical brood nest below. I would not expect to find a lot of brood this time of year. I would be more concerned with the bee population is there enough bees to make a survivable cluster. For now I persoanlly put that at 10 frames of bees but have seen far fewer than that survive. I am not sure I would expect 10 frames from a first season colony. If your population seems light expect your bees to try and correct that through the winter. this means they may go through more stores than they woudl otherwise and need feeding earlier in the spring. possibly as early as January or February depending on how long they can sustain population growth. In other words expect to keep a closer eye on how much honey they have later in the winter. I would only be feeding now if they start depleting that box of honey to any degree.

    Also how is the pollen situation? Otherwise I am not seeing anything in your description that would worry me.
    Thanks for responding, my first thought on seeing the nearly empty box was the hive had been robbed. Is having so little honey/pollen in the bottom box the way it should be at the start of winter?? I thought both boxes would have stores for the winter (food/insulation). I would say my population is med-high level and pollen situation I believe to be good. With the poor weather in the south this spring my package was delayed several times I got it early in May and then my queen was a drone layer so I've been feeding most of the summer it took awhile to build out the comb (weird weather here this summer).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    Yes this is what I'm seeing... bottom box still has some bees capping the very small crown area with honey in it but both outside frames are mostly empty I was thinking the outside would be full for insulation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,920

    Default Re: Thought I was ready for winter?

    Welcome!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

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