The CO front range is 300 miles long and encompasses many massively different climes, my main yard is about 7 miles from shinbone and our bees act very difrently I brood up 2-3 weeks behind hime.. like wise I have out yard 6 miles south and they start producing drones 3 weeks later then the main yardForum member shinbone is in your area. Make sure you touch base with him.
I suggest three. Everything else the same as grozzie said, but fill the bottom box with frames and the feeder, and set the package container on top of the frames with two empty medium hive boxes around it for protection. Next day (or the day after) remove the container and extra hive boxes.I would use two…
No shaking, no muss, no fuss, and no flying bees.
Oh yea, I also forgot forum member MSL is also in the area. I completely forgot about him.The CO front range is 300 miles long and encompasses many massively different climes, my main yard is about 7 miles from shinbone and our bees act very difrently I brood up 2-3 weeks behind hime.. like wise I have out yard 6 miles south and they start producing drones 3 weeks later then the main yard
were ever you are hook up with one of the local clubs to find out what the best practices in your area are
This is an excellent post and it stresses the importance of paying attention to your colonies in the late winter / early spring. So many beekeepers...especially new ones...start to feel better when the early spring comes around and they see activity at the hive entrance. But in many cases, those bees are on their last stores and there's not much to forage. Worse, many beekeepers have gone out mid-winter and put pollen patties or substitutes in the colony which has created a false food source. The bees get kick started into action at a time when the real world is unprepared to support them. If the patty runs out or if the bees can't easily get to them or their honey stores, the extra brood that is now in the hive cannot be maintained and the entire colony is at risk. If you have to feed, don't stop. And be concerned about those wild temperature swings (especially the volatile ones) that can create a condition where the cluster moves in the colony and then gets anchored due to very cold temps in an area without much food. There's not too much you can do about weather excepting trying to reduce exposure to wind but you can plan and think ahead for food stores with the best method being to make sure your colony is heavy before winter settles in.A medium frame is 64% the size of a deep frame, making two medium boxes equal to 128% of one deep. I prefer to think of my frames in frame units, with a deep being 1 frame unit, or FU, and the medium being .64FU. So two medium 10 frames boxes are 12.8FU, or nearly equal to 13 deep frames. This is sufficient for brood, but you will need to use a queen excluder or brood will end up in the third box. Three ten frame mediums are 19.2FU, or very close to the same as a double deep at 20FU.
Now lets talk about overwintering. I am on the other side of the hills. Front Range is a little colder than we are, but cold isn't the biggest challenge. On both sides of the range we both have have long cold springs with big temperature swings. Getting the bees through that until nectar starts coming in is the challenge. Spring will be when they starve. The alternating warm sunny days followed by stretches of intense cold and late snow increases the acvtivity of the bees, but they can't get out and forage. The active bees eat more food, and then we get a late spring freeze and snow and five days of bitter cold after several sunny days, and that is when the colony starves to death if it doesn't have enough food. I prefer wintering in double deeps. The top box needs to be completely filled, wall to wall, top to bottom, with honey stores and a thick honey dome is required in the bottom box. I have successfully overwintered multiple colonies in one deep with a medium filled wall to wall above it, 16.4FU. Those colonies always needed sugar bricks and patties by March. The double deeps make it through OK, so 3 mediums will be close to the same. If you want a honey super then order four boxes with frames/foundation and a queen excluder.
You will need a frame feeder. With the uncertain spring weather bees will need to be able to access spring syrup from inside their hive. Make sure you have one. Don't waste money on an entrance feeder. Also, you absolutely cannot afford to ignore mites - especially not in your area if you want to successfully overwinter.
There is no substitute for what other beekeepers that are local to your area can tell you. Forum member shinbone is in your area. Make sure you touch base with him.
agreed, but as I haven't bought bees in the last 9 years, I turned to my old friend math..I believe that there's no need for another medium unless it's a temporary housing for your installation method.