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Discussion Starter #1
We do not particularly like the hot, humid Texas summers, and have fled north to cooler temperatures for a number of years. Now that I have bees I am afraid that will no longer be possible. Can one be gone for 3-4 months and expect to have anything when he returns? I know feral bees do it all the time, so there must be a way. What preparations would it require? It seems if one adds extra supers it leaves the hive vulnerable to SHB. I am trying to be TF with mite resistant queens, so that might help.

Does anyone out there do this?
 

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Seems like you might be better off having someone local manage them for you while you're gone. Check in on them every 3-4 weeks or so during the course of the summer. For a reasonable fee of course :)
 

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Can one be gone for 3-4 months and expect to have anything when he returns?
Absolutely or at least I did last summer, and I either got really lucky, or it's not a problem. My brother and I bought a business one year ago this coming Saturday. From the first of June until March of this year, I did not touch my hives. They all did very well. Granted it was my first year, so I was probably somewhat immune to some of the problems that face older hives.

If I have an extended period where I can't go in my hives again, I plan to restrict the entrances to at least half width, to help them guard against beetles and moths. I figure that would help.
 

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I'm not in Texas, but I would not rob them until fall if I was going to do that, and since I use Varroa treatments I would probably do one as late as possible before leaving. As long as no queen issues happened they should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
From reading other posts it seems that in Texas there would probably not be a problem stacking several supers before I leave, to be sure they have plenty of room. Ventilation would be a concern, so would use a screened bottom board and a ventilated top like Kelly sells. Could then restrict the entrance to a defensible size, hoping it would help with SHB as well as robbing.

Would certainly give me something to look forward to on my return.
 

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It depends on when you leave and whether or not you want honey. If you can pull your supers in June and harvest, then leave, it should work out fine. I don't see my big bee yard from spring harvest until fall usually. I'll check them in late fall (Nov) to see if they made fall honey. If they did I'm done until Jan. In January I'll add dry sugar if needed. In March or April I'll super, and in June I'll pull supers again. They seem to do better than my home hives.
 
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