Winter feeding and excess stores
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    43

    Default Winter feeding and excess stores

    I left a good deal of goldenrod on my hives for winter and also fed 2:1 syrup. When checking my hives yesterday, they are plenty heavy with stores which seems to be a good problem to have. My biggest hive will continue to take syrup if offered even though it seems to have plenty of stores.

    Few questions:

    Should I continue to feed this hive? Moisture has not been a problem and the winter has been mild. Queen is continually laying (eggs, larva, capped brood present)

    Letís say early spring there is still a good deal of honey stored. I will need those drawn combs for spring flow. Do I extract those (Iím sure some is capped sugar syrup) to feed back? Will it keep till the next fall?

    I feel that being my first winter, I fed and left too much resources (if thereís such a thing) in fear of losing bees to starvation. All being said, they look to be doing fantastic.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,597

    Default Re: Winter feeding and excess stores

    Ya, it sounds like your going to have some powerhouses down the road. Without knowing what you mean by excess, I would leave well enough alone, they can burn up a lot of stores raising spring brood and the weather’s warm enough to monitor for swarming signs. Let them burn up the mixed stuff and put empty supers on for the flows and a place for the bees to go. But that comes from someone that won’t be able to pull frames for 3 months lol.
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Mississippi
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: Winter feeding and excess stores

    Quote Originally Posted by rwlaw View Post
    Ya, it sounds like your going to have some powerhouses down the road. Without knowing what you mean by excess, I would leave well enough alone, they can burn up a lot of stores raising spring brood and the weatherís warm enough to monitor for swarming signs. Let them burn up the mixed stuff and put empty supers on for the flows and a place for the bees to go. But that comes from someone that wonít be able to pull frames for 3 months lol.
    Excess is a deep of honey with some mixed in backfill in some of the brood chamber.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Wimer, Oregon
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Winter feeding and excess stores

    like rwlaw said let them have it through the winter.
    you could spin out the excess in spring,
    then store what you get for next falls feeding
    or save it in the comb for making splits if you are into increase.
    me I would save the resources for making nuc's.
    it all depends how much the bees consume though winter.
    DavidZ

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Farmington, MO, USA
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Winter feeding and excess stores

    The issue you can have with continued feeding is that they back fill the brood area and the queen has no where to lay. As long as that is not an issue, it doesn't hurt to feed if you want but it's not really necessary as long as they have plenty of stores. The frames that are a mix of honey and syrup can be frozen for a couple of days to kill any pests and then taken out and stored until fall or whenever you might have need for them. I do it all the time.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,073

    Default Re: Winter feeding and excess stores

    I have found it is easy to have a lot of my frames with a considerable amount of unused and dormant honey in corners of frames from year to year. It wont extract because it is crystallized. I am probably leaving too much stores for predominately Carni bees.

    I think I will use Apis suggestion since I want to make some splits this spring. I find that really churning up the cells with the capping fork down to about half the cell depth will encourage them clean it out and use it for brood rearing
    Frank

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