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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't want to take too much honey to starve them but I have no idea what amount of honey would be excess and what is essential for survival. Of course it would be based on size of the colony and season. For example how many pounds of honey should I leave for a single deep worth of bees and a double deeps worth of bees?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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It's not so much a percent of what they make. In a good year they make a lot. In a bad year they may make nothing. In Topeka, I would shoot for a frame of capped honey for every frame of bees in the cluster. A little over won't hurt. More than two frames per frame of bees is too much.

Some years that may mean you take nothing and you feed. Other years you may take 200 pounds from a hive. Most years it will be something more modest, like 40 pounds per hive.
 

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If I were in your location I would send them into winter with double deeps, the upper deep being stores, this should be adequate. Like Michael stated " A little over won't hurt ". Often people look at what the bees need to winter on and forget that the bees need a good bit of stores for spring build up as well :).
 

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I'm Mr bad example. I take every scrap and follow up feeding to top the hive off. Some hives feed more agressively than others, so I manually equalize the stores in each hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, so am I just taking into account entire frames of honey in the supers or do I include the stores around the periphery of the brood frames. Some have more some less than others.
 

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There should be a dome of honey on the brood frames, I see winter stores as full frames of honey in the upper deep.
 

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Now it doesn't matter because like stonewall said you can feed (I know it is crap compared to honey) to make up for the honey you take. I don't feed so I don't take honey until fall when I can judge want to leave.
 

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I'm Mr bad example. I take every scrap and follow up feeding to top the hive off. Some hives feed more agressively than others, so I manually equalize the stores in each hive.
I take most of it and feed syrup and then sugar patties or fondant. I get better survival with this system and the honey is worth much more than the syrup.
 
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