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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Paw Paw, Mich.
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    61

    Default Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    I was thinking of leaving a supper on for the winter but am concerned with the queen laying in it come spring. what are the pros and cons of doing this. besides extra honey for the bees and not having to feed. thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    I think you answered your own question. Not having to feed. Let her lay in it, make a couple early splits with it. Everyone wants medium nucs. G

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Chicago, Illinois
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    252

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    I Like that Bigg. I am leaving a super on each hive this year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,990

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    In my climate, strong hives fill them with Eucalyptus honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    In my climate, strong hives fill them with Eucalyptus honey.
    Nice!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Was just thinkin the same thing. I'm gonna leave a super on each of mine. But do ya'll feed as well? What if I'm trying to fill up a few more frames?
    Adam Buchanan
    Call or email me to chat bees! 720-789-0243 adam@adamcbuchanan.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    I think when the flow ends you have no choice but to feed if you have empty comb you want filled. G

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Do you mean an empty super or full?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,482

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    best be sure that empty super has food stores in it, or feed it full. The bees will move up into empty comb and stretch back down into their feed stores...
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Good timing, I put my nucs this year into deeps and added 1.5 gal feeders that take up two frames. I put my wet extracted supers on them. I am thinking of leaving them there thinking that they will put the sugar water above the deep frames and I can run deeps with a medium like I see the commercial guys here do. I also have a super on some hives that was not capped so I left them on at the end of last month. I think I will let them on so I do not have to clean up again.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    886

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    the little ones will have those frame feeders pretty well glued in by spring, they will not get much use from them in the dead of winter.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
    Posts
    251

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    It's going to depend on how cold your winter is. How are you going to know that the super is empty- will you be pulling the frames out one at a time to see? Opening a hive for an extended period in cold winter may just freeze the girls. A super is also a considerable amount of air space for the bees to heat, something I try to minimize.

    With a top feeder the hive has minimal cold exposure, little air space to heat, and you can easily see the food supply.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    They might use the super for supper...

    Basically the outcome will depend on the strength of the hive. The advantage to extra food for a strong hive is that it will have some excess to build up on in the spring and this can lead to a better build up. The disadvantage to extra food on a weak hive is it will probably crystallize and they probably won't use it. Wherever it might, be, brood is a good thing in my view, so I don't care if she lays in the super or not...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Paw Paw, Mich.
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    It seems if they lay in the supper it .ay stain the honey darker and taste diff. If the frames are used again for honey. Mich winters are cold. The extra space is a concern. I do also have hive top feeders , will the the sugar syrup be to far from the cluster to feed or can bees move about in the hive in winter ?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Paw Paw, Mich.
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    I am concerned with the extra space to keep warm, Michigan winters are cold. I do have hive top feeders that look like a super with two bins front and back with wood floats but would this be to far from the cluster to feed? Also I think if they used super frames to lay in that using them for honey may cause darker and funny tasting honey from the cocoon left back in the cells

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Paw Paw, Mich.
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Oh. And using the frames for nucs is a good idea but was not planning on makeing splits to sell nucs , and if I build nucs to split a hive for my self and have deeps would not the medium frames make a mess? Or is there a way to start a hive in deeps off of medium frames?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Hive top feeders with syrup won't be used during the winter. Bees won't take syrup when it's under about 50 degrees. You could use the feeders now to give syrup which the bees can use to fill any partially filled frames, but if they need more food during the winter, you are looking at using dry sugar, bee candy, or fondant. The latter are essentially variations of candy..cooked sugar in a hard or semi-soft state. The bees can't dry syrup down to the necessary moisture levels during the winter either.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    >It seems if they lay in the supper it .ay stain the honey darker and taste diff.

    IMO it makes no difference to the color or taste of the honey. It just looks darker in the comb...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Sorry if I was not clear, my point of the feeders had to do with the fact that I put the wet supers back on. The bees will not use the feeder in winter but the super will have the feed in it, directly above the brood nest. I am using the feeder to get the hive up to weight and the super because I do not have enough deep comb to do a 5 over 5 nuc.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,246

    Default Re: Pros and Cons of leaving a supper on over winter

    Quote Originally Posted by njlynch1925 View Post
    Oh. And using the frames for nucs is a good idea but was not planning on makeing splits to sell nucs , and if I build nucs to split a hive for my self and have deeps would not the medium frames make a mess? Or is there a way to start a hive in deeps off of medium frames?
    Ok well, in that case, maybe you could consider starting a couple medium hives.......
    Seriously, Im switching for the idea of everything being universal. Anyway, I dont think it will have any negative effect on the honey. On another site, I read where someone had a customer that requested honey from old broodcomb when availible. It may be all in his mind, but at least it illustrates that the use of broodcomb leaves no undesirable effect on the finished product. G

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