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Discussion Starter #1
My hive is new, started from a package in May. I don't plan on harvesting honey this year, but how much do they need to get through a winter in upstate New York?
 

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I have also read about how much honey is needed to get through the winter. How do I know how much honey they have before I start feeding. Do I need to weigh the colony. If so how to do it?
 

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Most people "weigh" by picking up the back of the hive a little bit and guessing - an inexact but quick and convenient method.

If you are feeding during the summer it is usually to build up a small/young hive population or to encourage them to draw comb, or to keep them from starving. If you aren't careful you can cause more problems than you solve by summer feeding.

When you start feeding for winter stores (I think about 4-6 weeks before cold weather) you want to feed a lot of 2-1 in a short period of time. If you draw out the feeding for a long time you might encourage the queen to keep laying at an inappropriate time too late in the fall. Also you want to get pre winter feeding finished on time for it to be cured and stored.

If there is a good fall flow where you are you might not need to feed pre-winter.

If they don't have enough stores going into winter you can always give them dry sugar or candy as insurance.
 

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You are absolutely correct about summer feeding. It nearly caused havoc in my 2 colonies. I read in books to keep feeding colonies until they loose interest. So I was feeding 1:1 syrup until end of June and bees never lost interest, they were asking for more. Finally I realized that they were storing every bit in deep frames capping and the few frames were so heavy I had a hard time lifting them. On top of that they were taking valuable space away from queen to lay eggs. I stopped feeding but those frames are still capped with stored syrup which I am going to let them keep for use in winter.
 

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beecuz; I've found that a thick shallow frame has about a quart or 3 lbs. of honey. So a medium frame would probably be between 3 and 4 lbs. or 35 to 40 lbs. in a 10 frame medium.
leamon
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When it gets colder, the queen stops laying, right? So then do they fill the bottom deep with honey? Apparently I need to go back to my library and read a bit! Thanks for your input, everyone.
 
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