I just grab the back handle of the bottom box and lift it to estimate the weight. I know what a 50 lb box of nails feels like or a 50 or 100 lb bag of feed so it's not too hard for me. Some of it is practice too. Heft it and then look inside and see how full it looks. Going into winter with deeps around here you want at least a full box of deep frames of honey on top and the bottom box should have about 5 frames full of honey and pollen. Three deeps isn't bad either. Of course now I'm looking for three to four mediums mostly full.
Good grief. You scare me Michael! I know our winters are nothing like yours, but all I seem to have are frames and frames and more frames full of bees. Must be all american bees, because they aint saving nothing yet, just eating it all now.
You're in Virginia. Maybe you don't have winter there.
The problem with winter stores is sometimes you have a mild winter (like we've had here the last two years) and they don't need that much stores. Partly because there are chances to rearrange the stores and get reorgainized on the warm days, plus you can feed them on warm days if you want.
And then sometimes you have a really BAD winter where it snows and drifts and blows and never warms up. I could be minus 10 degrees Farenheit for a month. When it is you don't get any opportunity to correct for the difference in weather. If they didn't have plenty of stores at the beginning, there isn't anything you can do to help them if it never warms up.
Plus having a lot of pollen and honey coming into spring gives them a chance to raise brood early and get a good start in the spring.
Winter is hell here near San Francisco. God forbid we get a frost or two. The eucalyptus flow starts by Halloween and good hives only fill a medium with surplus by Valentines Day. And then comes Easter and you can't keep them from swarming.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!