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Discussion Starter #1
I think I may have mention this in an earlier post but eventually I'm going to harvest and have some questions from my overactive mind. If, in the next week or so I harvest what appears to be 5 out of 6 medium honey supers from two hives and put a deep on with new, blank frames on while I'm extracting. Both hives have two deep brood and current stores and populations look good. My plan includes putting back the wet frames (and cappings) for the girls to clean (over the third deep) and then removing them to storage. Would the girls use them to build build new comb, even partially, this late in the year? I'm planning on storing the honey supers until spring and if they can build more comb on the deeps, eventually save them for splits or traps next spring. I am expecting a pretty good fall flow here with all the fall plants just weeks away from blooming. I keep hearing that comb is gold and as a first year beek-I only got what's currently on the hive. I know I can rotate out some of the original built up frames in the spring but I'd like to have more. If the fall flows are decent and they build at least some comb with some nectar or honey or pollen, I could have a safe reserve for late winter or use with new colonies. I could also start a 3 or 4 part OAV treatment with the temporary third deep in place as it would eventually revert to a brood box and the honey supers would remain clean in storage off the hive.

Am I over thinking this or is it at least, partially based in reality? Is it too late for the girls to build new comb?
 

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I think I may have mention this in an earlier post but eventually I'm going to harvest and have some questions from my overactive mind. If, in the next week or so I harvest what appears to be 5 out of 6 medium honey supers from two hives and put a deep on with new, blank frames on while I'm extracting. Both hives have two deep brood and current stores and populations look good. My plan includes putting back the wet frames (and cappings) for the girls to clean (over the third deep) and then removing them to storage. Would the girls use them to build build new comb, even partially, this late in the year? I'm planning on storing the honey supers until spring and if they can build more comb on the deeps, eventually save them for splits or traps next spring. I am expecting a pretty good fall flow here with all the fall plants just weeks away from blooming. I keep hearing that comb is gold and as a first year beek-I only got what's currently on the hive. I know I can rotate out some of the original built up frames in the spring but I'd like to have more. If the fall flows are decent and they build at least some comb with some nectar or honey or pollen, I could have a safe reserve for late winter or use with new colonies. I could also start a 3 or 4 part OAV treatment with the temporary third deep in place as it would eventually revert to a brood box and the honey supers would remain clean in storage off the hive.

Am I over thinking this or is it at least, partially based in reality? Is it too late for the girls to build new comb?
A couple of my hives that were in 1 deep I put a second deep on recently and they are starting to build those out.
 

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depending on the flow, I have put deeps on in the middle of sept up here and they partially pulled them just fine, doesn't work every year. one thing to watch though, in a really good flow, they can/will treat that deep as a honey super and some times draw large patches of drone cells instead of worker cells to save time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have two hives, both are strong and had three medium honey supers on top of two deep broods with a QE separating the honey supers from the deep broods. Because of an equipment delay, I haven't harvested yet and an inspection of the hives this past weekend showed hive one had 3 pretty full (80% or more) capped comb so I added a fourth medium super to it. Hive two, same double deep broods, had three supers, first two at 80% or so, third one around 40% comb with nectar-uncapped. Number two seems to always be a week or so behind number 1 in build up, both are first year hives surprisingly started with over wintered 5 frame Nucs on March 30th. I live in a University town, small dense lots but there are several contributing factors (I think) to the rapid build up on first year hives which may or may not be repeatable. There are a lot of small gardens in my neighbors yards all around us and with COVID this year, I think people working from home may have increased their gardens, more vegetables but also more flowers including some that maybe non-native ornamentals that varied the nectar flows-it appears that we never really had a dearth here and the girls are still shooting out (even hours away the this storm coming in) and working it. Because of the COVID I think many people did not have their landscaper put down any broadleaf herbicides and we had a very long, just ending white clover flow. My neighbors are very socially conscience (liberal university town) and many have planted pollinators in their yards. Second is that the University itself, owns a great deal of open land just blocks away. A few years ago the tore down old WW2 housing three blocks away and while they wait to build additional housing, they planted 15 acres or so of pollinators. The various former blocks in there have small signs on saying what seed mixes were used and from what I read and saw, we're going to have a real nice fall flow from those 15 acres alone. Third, once you get out of town, less than 1/2 a mile it become pretty rural, the University has hundreds of acres and some are leased to farmers that plant corn, soy (saw a new thread on soy this morning) and other row crops-well within reach of the girls.
With all of that said, I'd like to expand my apiary next year and once I pull my honey supers, though maybe it would be worth buy another set of deeps and make the hives into triple deeps for the balance of the season which should in our area go through October. I thought I'd temporarily put the extracted frames from the current mediums and cappings back on top of the third deep to encourage comb building and then let them run with it. Once the hive populations start to drop off, remove third deep and store for next year. I'm hoping that the third deep would at lease get some comb built during the next couple of months that I could use for splits, trapping or if there's any honey/nectar, for emergency winter feed. I keep getting told that extra comb is gold so it's my thought to mine it while I have a shot. I think we'll have plenty of of honey so WTF? The third deep would be eventually used as a brood box anyway, so oince the honey suppers are cleaned up and stored, I could start an early AOV treatment and prep for winter. Does any of this make sense-sorry for the epic novel of a post.
 

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With some luck broad leaf herbicides will remain unused on lawns next year as well.

With even more luck, less people will buy mowers, mowers will go un-repaired, and less lawns will be mowed as well.

Regarding your bees, did you have a chance to do a mite check?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I hope so, it be nice to see more weeds. I saw something that said " You know you're a beekeeper when your excuse to not cut the grass is there's a clover flow on." I guess I'm a beekeeper but how late into December can you use that?

The wash jar just arrived in the mail today-looking at it, I should have made one. I think we'll do both hives on Saturday. I've been looking at the bees on the landing boards and during the open inspections, don't see any DFW or K wing. Nothing on the ScBB bottom boards-occasional ant or two and as earlier reported some wax moth larvae. Saw an adult wax moth inside the outer cover but above the inner (squished). No signs of cocoons inside-they're trying but (hopefully) not getting in-the inner cover was covered with guard bees.
 

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Larry.
I would not pull the 3rd deep but leave it for winter. I do not see the value of "pulling it"
It would likely have some honey in it, so perhaps more food. could even give them a couple gall of 2:1 in early sept.

GG
 

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Larrybud - "Would the girls use them to build build new comb, even partially, this late in the year? " I have seen comb drawing late into the Fall, 1 Nov., with my insulation on - especially by larger colonies.

I just had to buy another 100 frames because all my frames are drawn out and on the hives and nucs. I focused on getting drawn frames early and separating brood frames from honey frames ( queen excluders). The problem is you have to spin out honey more, your apiary grows accidentally and then you have to buy more frames. I will not build more boxes as my limiting control factor. Best of luck! ( Suggestion learn about Varroa horizontal spreading and when it happens - Seeley and Co. have a good test report published.)
 

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" You know you're a beekeeper when your excuse to not cut the grass is there's a clover flow on."

So hilarious. Just did that. Clover is the beans and rice and ramen noodles of a flow. I know that we're on the tail end of it when I see them going to the clover on my lawn. Tells me the dearth is almost here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Larry.
I would not pull the 3rd deep but leave it for winter. I do not see the value of "pulling it"
It would likely have some honey in it, so perhaps more food. could even give them a couple gall of 2:1 in early sept.

GG
Goose:
I was thinking in the third deep maybe a heating problem during winter while we have pretty mild winter here in general, we can hit 0F for a few day at a time and routinely below freezing for a couple weeks or pickup a couple feet of snow-depends on the wind direction. NJ is on the fence where we are on New England cold or Virginia warm in the winter. I was planning on going through the winter with a top feeder and only a gallon at a time, Mann Lakes worked great this past Spring. In mild periods during the winter, if needed I could swap out stored frames from pulled third super for emergencies. I have some concern with even the double deeps over the winter-as far as maintaining survivable temperatures in January and February. I'm learning and am open to your thoughts and advice. I would like to have some deep frames with comb for splits and traps next spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
" You know you're a beekeeper when your excuse to not cut the grass is there's a clover flow on."

So hilarious. Just did that. Clover is the beans and rice and ramen noodles of a flow. I know that we're on the tail end of it when I see them going to the clover on my lawn. Tells me the dearth is almost here.
We're about in the same place here on the east coast-clover's about done. That hurricane past thought yesterday, had heavy rains and 50 mph winds and then gone in 6 hours-not even close to Sandy a few years ago. I've been watching the hive and I'm not quite seeing a dearth yet-the girls are working something, not sure what. I am seeing a lot of areas very close by with acres of goldenrod and aster that were planted as pollinator gardens but they're still a couple weeks away. Curiously, I was out clean up my shed and moving some empty nuc boxes for storage and a bee flew in one. It looked like a scout, very light gold like a Cardovan and I watched him fly around a trash can and some tools leaning against the shed. I have what I was told are Italian Mutts (Like me!) that are actually pretty dark and it wasn't one of those. Could it be a feral swarm this late or a lost sailor? These darn bees are keeping ya guessing.
 

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I wouldn't use a top feeder during the winter. I have never found them to take syrup once it drops below about 60. I put winter patties on the hives in winter.
 

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Goose:
I was thinking in the third deep maybe a heating problem during winter while we have pretty mild winter here in general, we can hit 0F for a few day at a time and routinely below freezing for a couple weeks or pickup a couple feet of snow-depends on the wind direction. NJ is on the fence where we are on New England cold or Virginia warm in the winter. I was planning on going through the winter with a top feeder and only a gallon at a time, Mann Lakes worked great this past Spring. In mild periods during the winter, if needed I could swap out stored frames from pulled third super for emergencies. I have some concern with even the double deeps over the winter-as far as maintaining survivable temperatures in January and February. I'm learning and am open to your thoughts and advice. I would like to have some deep frames with comb for splits and traps next spring.
Not sure I follow you but here is some facts form my bees in northern lower.

I winter in 2 deep and a medium or 3 deeps quite often, IF you put the deep under , you actually have a warmer winter hive due to the Igloo effect.
Top feeder, I would not do, if it works for you then carry on, I would do sugar blocks, in a medium, with towels /blankets around it to trap some warmth to allow feeding at cooler temps, I do not see bees take syrup below 40 degrees.
I "try" not to open the hive in winter for "swap out" when you crack the seal so to speak it is not wind proof from there on, duct tape can amend that issue but takes the paint off at times. I generally not crack the seal till the worst is over, for me late Feb early May. I do a lift to see what the weight is , feed if needed by september.

inside the hive the bees heat the cluster not necessarily the hive. To help with heat there are several threads on insulating, the easiest is a 1.5 or 2 inch foam 5 sided box around the bees. I also use a quilt box with 4 inches of shavings from my planner on the top, of the hive no inner cover. then lid , then 2 inch foam.

Have a wind break for prevailing wind, and a good water proofing of the top/lid is the best thing.


Hear you on the comb, over time you can build up some, the new partially drawn is ok for splits not so much for traps, old comb is better for traps.

this spring I split a 3 deep 6 ways into 6 --5 frame NUCs, so if spring split is in your plan,, build it up now is ok.

there is one more option if "you feel lucky"

rearrange the 2 10 deep into 8 over 7 over 5,, OR 7 over 7 over 5 adding in the new foundation to the sides to fill in the 10.
you would need, 2 or 3 pollen frames in the bottom box, 7 fullest honey frames in the top box, 7 most brood filled in the center box.
IE pyramid both up and down
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jon/Goose
Thank you, Yes Jon-sitting here saying to myself "what was I thinking???" Maybe I could teach the girls how to skate on the frozen syrup? NOT!

Goose;
I like your thoughts on the splits and agree about old comb and new. I understand about winter prep. (see response to Jon!) I'm going to need to write out your pyramid plan there-too late in the day with my brain to figure it out but it look interesting.
 

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no worries
good luck
only do what you feel comfortable with and understand
tactics and technique will grow for you over time.

and right the time left for this year is for winter prep and mite control.

let us know how it goes.

GG
 
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