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Discussion Starter #1
Here in Ohio the weather has been in the upper 50s-mid 60s during the day and 40s at night. I have 4 hives and two weeks ago I pulled honey supers from 3 of the hives and put feeders on to get them to start packing the hive for Winter. The remaining hive had 2 supers on and was absolutely packed with bees. I left the supers on this hive since I was going out of town for 10 days and didn't want to pull the super and leave them overcrowded while I could not check in on them. I just checked them today and found the first 3 hives filling up with the little syrup I gave them as well as nectar from the Fall flow. I am pretty satisfied with the weight they are putting on, so I gave each of them roughly a quart of syrup and closed them up.

My question is regarding the hive I left the supers on. One of the supers is mostly filled, and probably 75-80% capped. There is one small remaining area of brood in the middle frames where the queen got into (I was not using an excluder). I scraped off the cap on one of these brood cells and saw a nearly fully developed bee inside. The rest is all nectar. I checked the brood boxes for weight and while the top brood box has more weight to it, the lower brood box is still pretty light. This hive is overall lighter than the other 3 that I pulled supers on and fed starting 2 weeks ago.

Should I give the super another week or so to let the remaining brood hatch out and also give them time to cap it off? Temps are going to climb into the upper 60s and 70s through the 2nd week of October here. Or do I pull the super and put a feeder on to get them putting stores away in the brood boxes they will over-winter in (thus sacrificing the remaining brood area and uncapped honey)? What would you do?
 

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Jonny
is the brood,, drone or worker? if it is worker they are winter bees, not the best ones to sacrifice, if drones then not needed IMO
Sacrifice, as it cut out and put in the trash?
Seems odd to me to take uncapped in OCT to then feed, but if you have the TIME to make it thru feed and cap then I guess it is fine.
Uncapped can be used for mead or cooking or rapid consumption fresh.

what is not OK with leaving it as is and feeding?

GG
 

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This is one of many reasons I use all medium hive bodies. I would take the uncapped honey and brood and distribute it throughout the rest of the hive and remove any empty frames.

Can't do that with mixed hive body sizes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There's no reason to feed syrup if you are going to harvest it. I'm confused. I think you could make your post clearer and shorter by first assigning variables.
The brood boxes in this hive are light on stores. My supers are mediums and the brood boxes are deeps. I am debating between A: leaving the super on so they can finish capping. Or B: pulling the partially capped super and placing a feeder so they can build stores in the brood boxes that I overwinter in.

If I choose A, I could end up with capped honey I could extract, but lose valuable feeding time they might need to build winter stores.

If I choose B, I pull the partially capped super, and can immediately start feeding (either with the uncapped honey I pulled or 2:1). But I lose a potential full medium super of honey.

I guess my real question is how fast can bees fill frames if I give them plenty of feed? If they only need a week or so to fill up the available space in the brood boxes with syrup I could leave the super on to see if they cap it and then still have time to place a feeder on after its capped and I pull it.

I appreciate your input
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is one of many reasons I use all medium hive bodies. I would take the uncapped honey and brood and distribute it throughout the rest of the hive and remove any empty frames.

Can't do that with mixed hive body sizes.
The more I consider doing this the more it makes sense. Thought about running all deeps instead of the mediums. Might try that with some splits next season.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jonny
is the brood,, drone or worker? if it is worker they are winter bees, not the best ones to sacrifice, if drones then not needed IMO
Sacrifice, as it cut out and put in the trash?
Seems odd to me to take uncapped in OCT to then feed, but if you have the TIME to make it thru feed and cap then I guess it is fine.
Uncapped can be used for mead or cooking or rapid consumption fresh.

what is not OK with leaving it as is and feeding?

GG
Its worker brood. When I said sacrifice the super I meant it as extracting uncapped honey which from what I understand is not dehydrated enough to be stable as a 100% honey product. If I pull the super early I can still extract the nectar/honey and feed it back to the bees. But I will not be able to harvest any for myself. If I leave it on and also feed then I risk contaminating the pure stuff with the syrup.

I am unsure of how fast, or at what temps, bees will put away syrup for storage. If they can put it away fairly quickly or at lower temps then I may still have time to allow them to cap the frames of honey fully before I pull it and place a feeder. I am afraid I will wait for them to cap the honey only to find that I have run out of time to feed.

If it makes any difference I was also planning on placing a candy board on this hive going in to winter. I don't know how much a candy board can offset a lack of stores going through winter.

Thank you for responding!
 

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The more I consider doing this the more it makes sense. Thought about running all deeps instead of the mediums. Might try that with some splits next season.
I'm with you on that. Can't fill a deep super where I live or I would consider it.
 

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Smokey Bee. Not to get off subject but I see you are from lexington Cty, SC. I am pretty close to you in lancaster cty, SC. Are you all having a fall flow like us over here. I just added a 5 frame foundation less super to a 5x5 nuc and it is getting filled out as I am writing this. I additionally pulled 3 capped frames from a full size hive super and replaced with foundationless frames and they are being filled out as well. I plan on adding a shallow super to a full up hive tomorrow to see if they can fill it in the next week with this awesome flow we are having currently. I know johnny mms is farther up north than I am but I would let the bees continue to work the super IMHo..

Zone 8a
 

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Ranger,

Unfortunately I live in some kind of "hole" where there is no fall flow. I confirmed this with a 30- year beekeeper down the road. I'm trying to put together an out yard in York County for next year.
 

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wow, that’s odd. We have hives about 7 miles from us in York county and they too are rolling in the golden rod. We plan on pulling 4 frames of capped honey from the honey super on each of those 4 hives and replacing with foundationless frames. After looking at the long range forecast decided not to add a super to the hive here in lancaster county. good luck with the out yard in York county.
 

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If you are a 1st year beek, just leave what is there and Don't harvest. If there is any hesitation as to if they have enough, leave what is there alone. You can feed too and they will take what they need
 

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If you are a 1st year beek, just leave what is there and Don't harvest. If there is any hesitation as to if they have enough, leave what is there alone. You can feed too and they will take what they need
Exactly what I was thinking. I think you need option 3. Just leave it in there for the winter. Go ahead and feed and let them finish it, allowing them to have an ample food source for the winter. Whatever they don't use you can take in the spring, or add it to a stack of supers for them to finish off.

You may be anxious to harvest honey, take a frame for yourself if so. Honey will be easy to come by soon enough. Replacing bees is always a little harder.
 
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