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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Noticed that a number of colonies are roughly 20-30lbs below their winter weight requirements.

Right now the colonies have roughly 50-60lbs of honey.

1. Do I just not adjust the honey and let them get a bunch more honey, maybe getting as high as 150+ lbs of honey for a double deep

2) Do I just add an empty super above the capped honey?

3) Do I remove the capped honey and replace with an empty super?

Fall flow is probably going to be strong this year, because we have had rain.

thank you.
 

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I'd take the honey leaving a frame on the outside edges in each box. Add in extracted frames back to the hives after they clean them up a distance from all hive. 100 to 200 feet away from hives, so as to not start a robbing frenzy. If your close to fall in your area, you may want to open feed to winter weights as desired in your area. Fill em up with needed winyer feed from sugar water, and pollen patries for winter use. Honey is expensive, and 2 to 1 feed is cheap. A early fall harvest is nice on the bilfold as well. Let em have what they bring in and what you feed for winter stores. In spring they may have some left over feed, til spring flow hits. Hope this helps some. ..rich
 

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Noticed that a number of colonies are roughly 20-30lbs below their winter weight requirements.

Right now the colonies have roughly 50-60lbs of honey.

1. Do I just not adjust the honey and let them get a bunch more honey, maybe getting as high as 150+ lbs of honey for a double deep

2) Do I just add an empty super above the capped honey?

3) Do I remove the capped honey and replace with an empty super?

Fall flow is probably going to be strong this year, because we have had rain.

thank you.
I think it's nearly impossible to suggest what you should do without knowing what you are trying to accomplish.
 

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Couple questions from a newbee:
How do you assess the weight of the hive (assume a scale) and what part of that would be the honey?

I was just reading the NJ Beekeepers Association newsletter and within the President's article, he discuss that the minimum honey supply should be 60 pounds. Now here in NJ we have various climates from the southern coastal plain to the Appalachian ridge in the north. I'm located in the middle of the State, 10 miles from the Delaware River and Pennsylvania. I am ready to feed, started the colonies earlier this year with large Mann Lake top feeders but I don't think we'll see 50 F much before mid October, an average first frost mid-November and the Goldenrod is just starting-hopefully a flow through late October. I installed my nuc's March 28th on a 60 F day and we were past the last frost. What is a safe way to plan this, I've got plenty of honey in the barrel and a few supers on top of each hive.
 

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If you are using standard U.S. Langstroth beehive boxes, and your Winter arrangement is 2 deeps and 1 honey super, your target weight should be above 130 pounds Avoirdupois. More weight is OK. Definitely use a scale!

I try to leave a minimum of 20 pounds of honey on top at all times, 30 going in to Winter. A full medium 10-frame Illinois honey super (19-7/8 inches x 16-1/4 inches x 6-5/8 inches) (50.4825 cm x 41.275 cm x 16.8275 cm) should weigh 50 to 55 pounds (22.73 to 25 kilograms).

I would think it a bit of a risk to use 8-frame shallows and only one box above the brood if the Winter was severe and the thaw was late. Not that it won't work, but that would leave very little room for the hard years, and I doubt all such colonies would make it.
 

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I would treat mites as a priority and that may preclude putting on a super! I know the greed problem as I am a honey hog! But I have never collected enough honey after the end of July to pay for a new colony because I failed to kill all the mites in August.
 

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LarryBud - 60 lbs of honey is probably a better number in your climate than my area's 30 lbs, so do try to get a colony up to that before the cold and the snow.

Vance - Very true! +1.
 

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I've got double deeps vertically and when I went to separate them to put in the Formic Pro pads in between the top and bottom broods earlier this week, I can assure you, both two deeps were well over a 100# each. Don't need a scale to know that, my back was making it very sure in my mind. The supers over them were mediums, one hive had 5 and the other 4 two weeks ago so we took off 2 and 1 of them for harvesting, got over 9 gallons out of those 3-the two 5 gallon buckets almost full of honey, were much lighter. I was blessed this year with continuous flows all summer here. I plan on monitoring them all winter as weather permits and feed if necessary. I'd like to do some splits this spring.

I think the mite problem might be a function of the hive sizes and the early normal fall scale back. The FA did it's work, they're already bouncing back and hitting the fall flow as it's starting! I've been very luck for a first year.
 

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Wow, sounds like you are doing well there !!! My first year did fairly well too. Second was marginal to really good. This year has been wacky. More rain than usual here. And swarms, and hive beetles exploded in July til now !!! Under control now, and about to do o.a.mite control for about 4 weeks in a row. Maybe a couple splits before flow gets going here. If we have drone population to mate queens. Or make their own. Should be interesting fall. Good luck !!! 😊
 

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LarryBud " minimum honey supply should be 60 pounds" First, I assume this means net weight of honey? I am north of you and coastal which means I get a delayed Sring or chilly and wet weather come Spring. I plan on 80 lb. minimum net weight of honey (by feeding 2:1 sugar syrup if necessary) which I verity the net weight by weighting all the hardware involved including drawn frames with comb after extraction and an estimate for bee weight. I weigh hives using a fish scale and weigh each side, left and right, then sum the values and correct for lifting location or distance form fulcrum point.

I have found, watching one large hive with early brood rearing and strong foraging characteristics, that 80 lb. will accommodate early and large Spring brood rearing until foragers start increasing hive weight with the Spring flow - but not by much. Obviously adequate supplies for less capable hives. I concluded that the allotment did not restrict brood rearing - pollen was plentiful. I did not feed after Nov. 2 when weight goals were met. I intend to repeat the observation, including temperature and RH measurements, on several hives, hopefully more than three, again this Winter-Spring.
 

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Thank you, Robert! Interesting to hear actual numbers from beek's in more severe areas than my cushy neck of the woods. What was that large hive's exact arrangement and total weight?

BTW, I've switched over to Modified Square Jumbo Dadant beehives (aka "Brother Adam" beehives in Europe) with 14 narrow brood frames that are 11-1/8th inch deep.

Does anybody have wintering target weight suggestions for such a hive? The arrangement is a single brood box 19-7/8ths inches x 19-7/8ths inches x 12-1/2 inches deep (outside dimension) with 12 standard frames of honey in square supers above. Many of us "Big Box Beekeepers" use 5-11/16ths inch shallows to keep the lifting weight down - I'm going to be trying both sizes, and weighing them when full.

We can use standard 10-frame or even 8-frame honey boxes on top with an adapter board, and the nice thing is that the honey frames fit in any of the boxes - they are all standard.
 

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kilocharlie "What was that large hive's exact arrangement and total weight?" THe hive's hardware weighs about 85 lb. in the winter configuration. This configuration if for standard 10 frame Langstroth boxes. This includes my home made bottom screened board, I make my own boxes, deeps and medium (6 1/8 frames). Plus the sleeve insulation, 2-inch XPS Foam, a 1 1/2" spacer for sensors above canvass inner cover (not wood). The top has an extra 2-inch slab to create an R20 top insulator plus a draw-tite strap - all boxes full of frames. My Nov 2 weight for the big hive 185 lb. last winter. It takes 6 months before the bees start adding weight( honey) to a hive which after Spring brood rearing. I did nto feed after Nov 2.

I use the same brood chamber all winter and summer - add a QE and supers for the flow season. You have to examine the elapsed time between flows, estimate you need net weight, go through the winter and determine if you were short or had extra honey to support brood rearing in the Spring. I consider it part of winter stores to raise spring brood until foragers exceed consumption. Extra winter feed seems to stimulate a force of foragers and earlier brooding-up as a result of my insulation. This one hive, my best, has exceeded 200 lb., two years in a row. Some good one produce 120lb. some, with colony troubles, only 40 lb. Spring seems to be "key".
 

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I have packed singles in polystyrene that I will be taking through the winter out of doors in zone 3 can anybody give me a suggestion about the approximate pounds of honey for the size colony?
 

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Thank you again, Robert. Them's the heaviest hive weights I've heard of going into Winter, and 6 months between wrap and thaw sounds like a beastie (I've only got one pair of Carhartt coveralls!). You're all over the calculations. Awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have packed singles in polystyrene that I will be taking through the winter out of doors in zone 3 can anybody give me a suggestion about the approximate pounds of honey for the size colony?
It's basically not going to be possible unless you wrap that single with 2 inch foam perfectly.

Zone 3 is even worse than my location, and it's not warm here.
 

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90% of my colonies have been going through the Winter in singles, I've only had a few doubles the singles have come through in excellent shape Trouble is I never weighed them to know how much they weighed in the fall, So now and I would just like to know if anybody has a good target weight for a full single box colony?
 

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the Can honey council suggests
• Colonies should be healthy and populous going into winter with an abundance of young bees
and a young, fertile queen.
• Feed colonies with 70% sucrose syrup and ensure 3-6 frames of pollen are present in the
brood chamber.
• Single brood chamber colonies wintered outdoors should weigh 80-90 lb (36-40 kg), double
brood chamber colonies should weigh 120 lb (54 kg).
• Provide an upper entrance, tip colonies forward and close screened bottom boards for
outdoor wintered colonies.
• Wrap outdoor wintered colonies with an insulative barrier until overnight temperatures are
above 0°C.
https://honeycouncil.ca/wp-content/...ual-for-honey-bee-health-Feb-2017-English.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Hmmm.

You're overwintering double nucs, or single nucs?

Either way, a quick google search will give you a range.
 
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