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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand it's necessary (or prudent perhaps) to leave somewhere between 50-100 pounds of honey for a hive in order for them to overwinter.

My question is - for beeks that DO leave honey instead of feeding all winter - do you find that by the end of the season it's enough to just leave the honey stores already contained in the brood boxes? Or do you find you tyipcally have to take honey frames from the supers and move them down for overwintering?
 

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You can't put much weight on a hive feeding thru winter. More or less winter feeding is for emergency in the form of candy or sugar.

Leave honey on the hive and feed in fall until you hit target weight. Here in kentucky you don't need much more than 40-60lbs....depending on size of hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Leave honey on the hive and feed in fall until you hit target weight. Here in kentucky you don't need much more than 40-60lbs....depending on size of hive.
What do you mean by leave honey on the hive though? That's my question ... do you typically just leave honey already stored in the brood chamber (like in the bottom 2 deeps or bottom 3 mediums) and is that generally enough, or do you have to leave a honey super on top?

It's my first year so I'm just curious as to expectations there.
 

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When the bees slow down brood rearing in the fall they start to backfill that space with honey. The bees will make a cone of honey over the center of the brood nest where they leave a portion empty so they have room to cluster and move up onto the honey supply as it winters. My two deeps or three mediums I want to weigh between 125 and 150. If they weigh more I suspect a rat and look for a queen. If they have less, I feed until they do. You will need to gain experience to tell when to pull your supers so the bees store the last honey of the season down low. Normally most of my colonies are just fine in the fall all by themselves.
 

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You will need to gain experience to tell when to pull your supers so the bees store the last honey of the season down low. Normally most of my colonies are just fine in the fall all by themselves.
I think this is one area where I messed up last winter. I left supers on for them and I don't think they had anything in the deep boxes. Then, I didn't ventilate properly. During my class a few years ago I remember them saying to try to over super in the Spring and under super in the Fall. I guess this is to force them to back fill in the deeps.
 
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