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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Beekeepers in my area (E. Kentucky) have extracted their supers and reduced their hives down to double deeps and added varroa meds for the year. This seems odd to me since we still have goldenrod coming in a few weeks.

When looking at my hives they appear honey bound as well as if I took them down to just doubles I feel they would also have too many bees in just the doubles deeps. I still have supers on all of my hives that are almost totally filled with honey.

Last year I went into winter with doubles with no issues, but seems to me I have too many bees up in the supers to start taking them off right now, as well as the continued nectar flowing.

If I leave my supers on, I can bet they will continue to fill up, but I'm afraid I might miss being able to treat for varroa. Also concerned that the hives might swarm since they are overflowing even in the supers.

When should I take my supers off to prepare for winter?
 

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I take my honey supers off at the beginning of October after Goldenrod is done. But I'm north of you and I also don't treat my bees for mites.
 

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Angel, I would follow the lead of your other local beekeepers. If they are experienced and successful, do what they do. Try to get in touch with some local beekeepers and ask lots of questions so you fully understand their methods and the thought process behind the timing.
Best of luck!
 

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Maybe you should do like everyone else on half the hives and experiment with the other half. Remember the old roasting pan story.
 

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Before I would button up even a single hive for the winter at this very early point in the season, I would try to make sure I understand completely what the beekeepers you are referring to are actually doing. Have they harvested & removed the supers for varroa treatment with the intent of replacing them as the goldenrod/fall flow begins? It seems far too early to me to think they are done for the year, but then, I've never lived in your area.

Depending on how you plan to treat your hives, you may have time to extract full supers now, do your treatment and have honey supers back on before the bees feel overcrowded. You may get more harvestable honey this year, or have extra stores that you might leave for the overwintering bees.

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Went to the bee club tonight. The majority of the beekeepers will take all the supers off right now and extract for themselves and run 2 deeps and throw some varroa treatments on and call it a season. I asked about the goldenrod flow stores and they said the bees will store in the deeps. I'm going to play it safe, extract the rest of the supers, treat for varroa and throw some "bee super stores" on for them and let them build up the goldenrod for themselves for the winter. Will go into winter with 2 deeps and a shallow. In Feb/March of 2015, I'll take the extra super off and mark it "not to be extracted" to make sure no (or at least very little) varroa treatments cross contamination is in the honey. Thanks for everyone's help!
 
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