Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here is my predicament.
I use all mediums. No queen excluder. I tried to follow Walt Wright’s ideas about keeping empty supers on top.
So Right now I have a total of 7 mediums, as follows.
Top 2 are full of capped honey.
Next one they are just starting to draw out. I added this one 2 weeks ago.
Fourth from the bottom has 4 frames of capped honey, 2 on either side, with brood and pollen in the middle frames which are capped with honey arch, very nice brood patterns
Third from the bottom has 2 capped honey frames, one on either side, then pollen, brood and open cells with nectar.
Second from the bottom is all pollen and nectar, with just a little brood in the top of the middle frames.
Bottom is all pollen and nectar.

I had planned on harvesting the top 2 supers tomorrow, since I thought they were all “extra” honey. But now I am thinking that I need to keep that honey on the hive to get them through the winter. But it seems ridiculous to winter with so many boxes!
There is lots of goldenrod blooming now and asters are coming on. I don’t know what to do.
Should I let them winter in 6 mediums, with the top 2 full of honey?

Being in Ohio I wanted to give them lots of stores. If I take off the top 2 supers of honey, I will be back to my goal of 4 mediums for winter, plus an extra for them to fill up this fall. But I am worried if I do this that they will not have enough to get through.

I counted 30 frames of capped honey. But there is lots of nectar uncapped and lots of pollen.

Please give me your thoughts! Or Walt Wright’s phone number! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,971 Posts
I would pull the top two capped mediums. If there are a lot of brood, then there will be room for more stores as they hatch out. The queen will be shutting down soon and they won't need the room for her to lay in and will start filling in with the fall flow.

If you leave that honey on too long they will start moving it down into the brood nest as space becomes available.

Four mediums makes a nice sized hive, and all that pollen in the bottom box will be very convienant for the queen and brood in late winter / early spring.

[This message has been edited by BULLSEYE BILL (edited September 01, 2004).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Bill,

So, the bees'll actually start reorganizing the honey stores on their own?

I have a similar situation with one or two partially filled supers on each of three hives that house new colonies this year. At this late time - even with the autumn flow, I can't see how they'd possibly fill these supers *and* one of the hive bodies for winter.

I'd like to somehow force the girls to take their own hard-collected honey out of the supers and store it in the brood chambers but I'm not sure how to go about it without simply removing the supers and letting them and every other honey-loving critter in area raid the honey out of the supers.

Doug

[This message has been edited by DCH (edited September 01, 2004).]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
DCH,

They will take it when they need it and move it down. When the queen stops laying, the brood chamber opens up and that is when they start filling it with the nectar and honey they will need for winter. If you want to force them to bring the honey down, try this... Seperate the brood chamber from the honey stores, using an inner cover. The workers will move the honey down into the brood chamber in no time. Don't leave the supers above the inner cover after the first frost, if you do the cluster may mover up without the queen and she will freeze.



------------------
Phoenix
http://beeholder.blogspot.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,971 Posts
>So, the bees'll actually start reorganizing the honey stores on their own?

Yes, but the bees are constantly reorganizing their nest all the time. When we manipulate the frames we force them to do things that they wern't planning on doing.

Say that you do not like them "chimneying" up the center of the hive, so you move the honey out and create space in the center for more brood. That clearly was not on their minds or they would have done that in the first place. So now they have to deal with our interferance and reorganize the nest and go on.

They make winter preparations in a timely manner too. They gather up propolis and seal up the cracks, and move stores where they are more easily obtainable during the extreme cold. If you want to help them by reducing the amount of hive space and remove extra supers when they have space available lower in the hive you can put your partial super above an inner cover, (with a hole in the center), and they will move the honey down. I would recomend that you do this before it gets too cold.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
I'm with Bill. Four medium boxes is a generous amount for a booming hive. Three is plenty for a strong hive. Less for a smaller hive, so they don't have to heat so much space. You can move the brood down if you want to take some of the capped honey out of some of the boxes with honey and brood both in them. Put all the brood together and put it in the lower boxes. Or just leave it for now and wait for them to take care of things and harvest it on a warm day after brood rearing lets up.

Either way works fine.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top