To remove or not to remove?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    111

    Default To remove or not to remove?

    Hi all,

    This is my second year in beekeeping. I think I made some mistakes last year, and I'd like to avoid them if possible this year .

    I've a hive with 2 supers full of honey, and I'm not sure what is the best way to proceed at this point (please bear in mind that I live in Colorado so my colony is going to need a good amount of honey throughout the winter. And my queen is not Carniolan, so I think the cluster is going to be relatively large):

    Can I remove both supers and extract them? I've some honey saved from last year, so I can feed my colony that honey if they go into the winter without enough supplies.
    But would that force my colony to store honey in the deep boxes? I can go in and manually rotate the frames so that my queen is laying mostly in the lower box and most of the honey is kept in the upper one.

    Does that sound like a good strategy? Or is it too early to remove the supers? Ideally I'd like them to overwinter without a super on top of the deep boxes.
    “The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water” ― Karl Von Frisch

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    919

    Default Re: To remove or not to remove?

    You didn't say how your hives are configured. How many brood boxes and how many honey supers? You should check with beeks in your area on what they overwinter in before pulling anything.
    Also, this time of year, I would not be rearranging any frames in brood boxes. The bees are trying to configure for winter and if you change things around, it will probably set them back which is not a good thing when winter weather is about 3 months off.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Denver, CO, USA
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: To remove or not to remove?

    I have two hives in Denver configured in two deeps. We've been harvesting honey since the second summer from whatever honey supers we put on top (this year we did three on each hive). Around the end of September, we check the weight of the hive. If I can barely lift it with four fingers(the pointer and middle of each hand)...I feel they have enough honey. If they feel light, I feed them 2:1 syrup for a month or so. I also put sugar cakes on each hive at the end of December. So far, they've come through two winters okay...knock wood! ;-)

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: To remove or not to remove?

    Thank you.

    I've two deeps and two shallows.
    It sounds like I'm going to extracts the two shallows.
    Is feeding them int he fall a standard practice? Because last year I was afraid that they didn't have enough honey so I left them a super, which they ended up not using (having said that the winter was pretty mild).
    “The bee's life is like a magic well: the more you draw from it, the more it fills with water” ― Karl Von Frisch

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