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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello beekeepers!

This is my first winter so please excuse my question.

I went into winter with two hives with the same setup: Brood chamber and a medium super with honey. I did not put an excluder on between them. I would like to reuse the frames for honey as I don't have any spares yet.

I've heard opinions as follows: "they can be reused", "the bees wont put honey where there has/is pollen or brood", "have to clean down the wax to foundation and possibly apply a layer of was on the foundation", "replace the wax foundations". Almost all of these require bees to spend resource to build up the wax again.

I'm in a loss... should I have used an excluder? I would like to leave the bees with honey so am I looking at yearly cleanup of wax? This seems a lot of work for commercial beekeepers if they have to go through this process (sorry for deviating into a commercial situation).

Thanks much!
 

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I have kept most of my honey frames excluded from the brood frames, but have also used some brood frames for the honey supers. It has never been a issue.
It would be a nightmare to scrape and start over every spring. The bees get a great start on filling supers with all frames drawn, just waiting to be filled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have kept most of my honey frames excluded from the brood frames, but have also used some brood frames for the honey supers. It has never been a issue.
It would be a nightmare to scrape and start over every spring. The bees get a great start on filling supers with all frames drawn, just waiting to be filled.
How are you overwintering your hives, with BE between the honey and brood boxes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unsure where you got this idea.

You should never do this - bad practice anyway.
You are risking separating your queen from the cluster with bad results during the cold season.
I didn't put excluder on mine as I from own education I didn't find anyone doing it. Just threw it out there for experts to comment on.
 

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I don't use queen excluders, so there is often a little darkening of the combs in my supers from previous brood, no issues. And my honey is very light all the same.

Feel free to reuse yours for honey. That said, are you not going to use the same configuration going into next winter? If you are, then just stack supers on top.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I don't use queen excluders, so there is often a little darkening of the combs in my supers from previous brood, no issues. And my honey is very light all the same.

Feel free to reuse yours for honey. That said, are you not going to use the same configuration going into next winter? If you are, then just stack supers on top.
I will definitely be using the same configuration going into winter: Deep Brood and honey super on top, no excluders. I might add another super (2 total) depending on how well the bees do during the summer.

Thank you all who commented, you guys don't realize but for people who start out it is gold (like honey) :)
 

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Is the 1D + 1M a common configuration for your area? I would have guessed double deeps would be more normal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Is the 1D + 1M a common configuration for your area? I would have guessed double deeps would be more normal.
That's what I tried for winter. I received my bees in June so it wasn't a full summer for them. NUC was 1D + 2M at summer end and package was just 1D. NUC produced enough to share between the two configurations.
 

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Can't blame mbear for trying... I use a double deep medium super combination. Even though last year was best honey in total pounds, the use of excluders may have contributed to lower per hive yields than last year. When I do not use an excluder, I often get a small amount of brood on the lower frames in the supers. Nothing to worry about, although the cocoons make it a little more difficult to uncap.
 
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Those frames are old and no good anymore. You should put them in a box and mail them to me. I will properly decontaminate them and responsibility dispose of them for you.
Be sure to include the honey in the frames (when mailing them) so that they can be decontaminated off it.
I am second in the line!
LOL
 

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I've heard opinions as follows: "they can be reused", yes
"the bees wont put honey where there has/is pollen or brood", false they actually put honey over top of pollen often.
"have to clean down the wax to foundation and possibly apply a layer of was on the foundation", may be talking of Plastic foundation I do not use it.
"replace the wax foundations". if you "wish" to
Almost all of these require bees to spend resource to build up the wax again. yes

you will need to devise a plan to get the honey out.

another issue, with several answers.

GG
 
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