Winter in Texas
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Thread: Winter in Texas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    300

    Default Winter in Texas

    Close to Houston we have not had much of a winter maybe 5 full days of 30+ degree max days and if we have a 35-45 night by afternoon most of the time the temp gets up to 50-60 something.
    I am blessed to be in a neighborhood where there is usually something blooming.
    This makes an input on exactly what type of honey you will get. For the most part the bees have been working most of the fall and winter.

    I got home last mid March last year and the bees swarmed that day. I plan to look at the bees later today.


    I looked.
    I had messed up and had to leave two supers on the hives about 1/2 full but the bees finished capping this up but built no new comb so to speak but went back to filling the deeps and left .

    I did an OA tmt today and both hives were working full out. In the first box I found about 25% of the super was honey all over the frames and a little less in the second plus it looked like they may have moved some of the honey to the top deep. NO new comb in these boxes

    The top deep on the first box was 70% full of capped honey and the second op deep had more capped honey than the first.

    I realize now I should have done something with the honey in the two supers but there was too much non capped honey back in October. How much uncapped honey can you add to 8 gallons of capped honey extracted? or should you extract it separately and feed it back?? Sure would have made the few OA tmts that I have done easier.

    I ended up with a little over 20 Gallons of honey last year from these two hives.

    One of these hives swarmed in the middle of March last year just as I got back into town from a long trip.

    With all this honey in January and the bees working most days with our mild winter then "What should I do to get ready for Spring and early swarming"? I really want to stay with two hives though I did some splits last year that I gave away.

    Wait till early spring and pull a lot of the deep framesof honey and extract the honey to make room for bees? then what do you do with the honey that had two OA tmts in the fall. This fall I pulled 9 and 7 frames deep frames to get some room and I left lots of honey in the deeps when I robbed back in October.

    Any opinions appreciated on what to do to get ready.

    As JW says, " My Bees are doing well in spite of my help".

    The only problem with these local queens is the fact they are a little hot from what most people seem to have. There are a couple hives around but there are a lot of ferral bees that you can see when you feed the left overs from extraction clean up. Even got some that look almost black,

    Spring suggestions appreciated. Jim

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Murphy, TX
    Posts
    446

    Default Re: Winter in Texas

    You should "reduce" the honey from deeps. Extract half of the deep frames and return the combs. Arrange alternate empty combs and honey frames over the broodnest. If supers are not capped then you can leave them alone, and extract if they are capped. DO NOT feed back the extracted honey until you feel the need for it. I am in North Texas where a strong colony during the first weeks of February will have from 6 to 10+ deeps frames of bees and 10 to 30+ pounds of honey. You should have such store and population NOW down south.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,643

    Default Re: Winter in Texas

    Jim D - My usual mild Winter routine involves moving the bees to eucalyptus stands. If you are in a nectar flow, just make sure to watch for broodnest back-filling (nectar / open honey where brood was previously laid). That is the 2nd symptom of swarm readiness - the first is drone rearing. Swarming can start in January in the Southern states. BEE ready.

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