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This is my first year keeping bees. I have a question about the reason we take whole supers off of our hives. It seems to me that alot of hives starve in the winter because they could not break cluster to go to a different frame. However if we left enough honey vertically over the middle of the hive then I think it would solve that problem. Also it seems that brood is mainly laid in the middle frames. Therefore by taking the outside four frames out of two supers instead of taking the whole top super you could cut down on overwinter starvation and the need for the queen excluder. I am not expierenced enough to know of potential problems. I would love some comments.
 

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by taking the honey on the outter frames the bees have to move further in times of cold to get food... they'll end up starving because it's too cold to leave the ball.
 

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You are in an area where you won't probably be wrapping your hives and limiting your ability to get into the hive. I am sure if you want to leave a vertical stack of boxes with a core of honey, that will work just fine. I just don't think that it will solve the problem that you are talking about.

I also live in an area with some snow days, but not below zero F temperatures. My bees don't use much honey from November through the first of January. Then the usage starts and it accelerates through March. When they can't move because of the cold, we are talking honey within inches, not a frame away. So moving anywhere is a problem. They start raising brood and won't leave it during the next cold snap anchoring them in an area with no honey.

The issue is normally when the cluster shrinks because of mite kill, nosema or some other issue. A smaller cluster has more problem keeping warm and thus moving. In February and March on days when the temperature is in the 40's to 50's I move the outside frames of honey in towards the center and moving empty frames to the outside, not breaking up the cluster.
 

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hey stike
this is my first year too, i was told by my mentor, whom i got my bees from that they store enough honey i n the upper brood box that it keeps them over winter, but i live in the deep south and we usually have mild winters, except this winter, he told me to remove the supers for winter, because it causes to much for the bee's to look after during the winter and to much air flow in the hive, this causes freezing of the bee's in the hive. that just what i was told, it all depends on where u live i guess. he also said to reduce the entrance to the hive for protection from the elements and from invaders, this also keeps the air flow to a minimum during the winter.
 
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