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  1. #1

    Default Winter Prep to Early?

    My plan this year was to leave fall honey for the bees to avoid feeding. I moved two supers off two hives a week ago to my two hives without supers. Yesterday I picked up the three medium box hives that I removed supers from and they were heavy, like going into winter heavy. I am wondering if I am forcing them to fill the brood nest with nectaur instead of brood and if I should pull a supper out of storage. I hate to get all that equipment wet again. I am going to extract the two suppers on the other two hives next week and I could rotate those back if needed.

    I am trying to avoid the situation I was in last year with wet uncapped honey suppers in September and a lot of feeding to do. Yes, swarming is in the back of my mind. Should I be worried about that? All the queens are solstice queens from this year.

    It seems like our fall flow is starting, not a huge flow. Goldenrod is blooming. Knot weed is about to bloom.
    6 years-8 hives-T

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA

    Default Re: Winter Prep to Early?

    Instead of thinking all-or-nothing in terms of whole supers, you might pull out (and store) a couple of frames of capped honey and replace them with a couple of frames of empty, but drawn, comb and see what they do about it. If they fill it right up, that will tell you how intense your fall flow is and give you more data to base a decision on whther to add more space in the form of an additional super, or not. If they dawdle about it, at least you know you're not prompting swarming in the meantime and in another month or so you can swap the (stored) filled frames back in with no trouble, long before you've got the hives buttoned up.

    This is my current plan at the end of a terrific honey year so all my hives are well-stocked, with only a modest amount of empty space left. I'm north of Albany, so my season will close earlier than yours, though.

    I'm hoping not to have to feed to get them up to winter-weight, too. I still have my quilt boxes on and would have to remove those to add the hive-top feeders. QB's will need some refurbishment in the next few weeks, though.


  3. #3

    Default Re: Winter Prep to Early?

    Thanks Enj, That's a good idea. I might do that tomorrow. If they start filling like crazy I know where to return the wet supers to. I think a good inspection will put my mind at ease.


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