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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    81

    Default END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    This is the place for NEWBEEs. I am in Alexandria, VA

    I have 2 hives both full, with many frames of honey and brood.

    What concerns me is one hive where the activity on the porch has decreased but they are loaded with honey....the other hive is crazy about this time of day with activity.

    I want to add another box and start feeding again...but what if this box fills up as well? Do I keep adding boxes?

    I am doing another mite count starting to day on the IPM board because the last count was 9 ave. for 72hrs, but that was skewed cuz I scraped off the middle of the baord coming out so they may indeed be much higher....

    any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    I'm a bit north of you by about 45 miles. That said, that 45 miles can make a huge difference. I work in southern MD, about 60 miles away, and things bloom there 10-14 days earlier than here at home.

    I've been told three 8 frame mediums are equivalent to two deeps, and that is the minimum needed to get them through the winters here if packed full of stores.

    My hives were started in April and had those three boxes drawn and filled by May, and I threw on honey supers, which they filled in June. Nothing else has happened since, because the dearth started here around the end of June. I know many MD/noVA beeks harvest around July 4. I took some from the 5th and 6th boxes in early July, but my bees were slow to cap, so that minimized how much I could take off then.

    We are in a dearth here now, and feeding now with honey supers on would just go to stores and possibly contaminate any uncapped honey already there. So you have to decide what you want to do about that. The other consideration is what they need to eat while in the dearth...they apparently can eat all the stores now and not have any later. Feeding is something that needs to be done with thought and planning, not just because, kwim.

    I don't know about your area, but MD seems to have a fast and short flow...starts in April and is usually over by June 1. The fall flow is minimal to nonexistent. So I'm watching to make sure they have enough to carry through, see how the fall goes and then button up for winter.

    My newest nuc is crazy busy with orientation flights every night. The two big monster hives aren't...I have wondered if that is due to the older queens slowing down during the dearth, so there aren't as many new bees needing to orient. I stopped worrying about it, as they all seem to be queen right, have plenty of food, etc.

    I do a mite check every 3 weeks...so far clean...but I've seen a handful of SHB trapped on the inner covers of my big hives, none in the small. I hate those things. They appeared in the last 2 weeks. I'd kill every one of them I see if I could.
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    my hives can go through nearly 2 gallons of syrup in 3-4 days...So if I put on another box, and started feeding again, I hope they would just use that and store it away.

    I have the better beetle plaster and just got the beetle jail baitable today... I saw the larva a few weeks ago on the IPN board and squash thoselittle &^%^&%^$ every tiemI see them...I am trying to be aware , perhaps too much so , of everything that can be going on in my hives....so far SHB and varroa I have been monitoring especially the varroa. As a dumb newbie I am a little hesitant to do the varroa count with alcohol ....
    Quote Originally Posted by SpringGreen View Post
    I'm a bit north of you by about 45 miles. That said, that 45 miles can make a huge difference. I work in southern MD, about 60 miles away, and things bloom there 10-14 days earlier than here at home.

    I've been told three 8 frame mediums are equivalent to two deeps, and that is the minimum needed to get them through the winters here if packed full of stores.

    My hives were started in April and had those three boxes drawn and filled by May, and I threw on honey supers, which they filled in June. Nothing else has happened since, because the dearth started here around the end of June. I know many MD/noVA beeks harvest around July 4. I took some from the 5th and 6th boxes in early July, but my bees were slow to cap, so that minimized how much I could take off then.

    We are in a dearth here now, and feeding now with honey supers on would just go to stores and possibly contaminate any uncapped honey already there. So you have to decide what you want to do about that. The other consideration is what they need to eat while in the dearth...they apparently can eat all the stores now and not have any later. Feeding is something that needs to be done with thought and planning, not just because, kwim.

    I don't know about your area, but MD seems to have a fast and short flow...starts in April and is usually over by June 1. The fall flow is minimal to nonexistent. So I'm watching to make sure they have enough to carry through, see how the fall goes and then button up for winter.

    My newest nuc is crazy busy with orientation flights every night. The two big monster hives aren't...I have wondered if that is due to the older queens slowing down during the dearth, so there aren't as many new bees needing to orient. I stopped worrying about it, as they all seem to be queen right, have plenty of food, etc.

    I do a mite check every 3 weeks...so far clean...but I've seen a handful of SHB trapped on the inner covers of my big hives, none in the small. I hate those things. They appeared in the last 2 weeks. I'd kill every one of them I see if I could.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    >I've been told three 8 frame mediums are equivalent to two deeps, and that is the minimum needed to get them through the winters here if packed full of stores.

    Two eight frame mediums are equivalent to ONE deep. FOUR eight frame mediums are equivalent to two deeps. How much it takes to get them through the winter will depend on how many bees you have going into winter and the race of bees. Russians and Carniolans tend to be frugal. Italians tend to be extravagant... but for a large Italian cluster two deeps is probably the minimum and they might build up better in the spring with a little more, like five eight frame mediums... while a small Carniolan cluster might do fine in three eight frame mediums.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    Adding a box or not is immaterial if they don't draw enough comb in it to leave the box on come october. At this time of year I would only add a box if the one they are in is fully drawn and crowded with bees because I would rather they finish what they have started.

    BTW, I overwinter stand alone 8 frame medium singles every year with no problems - they make productive hives in the spring more often than not. Your mileage may vary.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    >BTW, I overwinter stand alone 8 frame medium singles every year with no problems

    I do too, but they are not full size colonies. A full size colony (especially an Italian one) compressed down to one eight frame medium would not survive a Nebraska winter. On the other hand a nuc that has filled half of that with capped honey and is clustered on the other half, with the boxes clustered into a group for warmth, will probably do fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: END of July-(3)-8-frameMED full should I add another box

    In talking to a noVA beek, not too far from where the OP lives, I learned bees in that area need approximately 60 lbs of stores to carry through a typical noVA winter.
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

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