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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First year beek/first hive this year. I started with a 3 pound package. I want to ensure that my bees have plenty of stores for the winter. I went over today and checked things out. I have 2 8 frame deeps and a medium super on right now. The two deeps are full and some frames are loaded with only honey and some of the frames still have lots of brood with honey on the outside corners. I checked the super and found that it is about half way full of honey and there is drawn comb on most of the frames. I was at our State Fair last week and spoke with a local bee keeper. He said a flow is on or about to kick in. Plus we have had some good rain this week. I am assuming that if they fill this super I could add another. My thoughts were to add another super on top of the one I have right now. If I leave them both deeps and the medium super to over winter should that be ample? If I wanted to try to add another super is it best to add it to the top or should I pull some of the frames from the super they are filling now and replace them with new frames. First and foremost I want them to get through the winter. If they can produce an excess I would like to harvest some. Once I get ready for winter should I just leave the two deeps and the medium? I haven't even started researching how to have my hive set up for the winter. I know some people say not to take any honey from a first year hive and some say it is OK. If they fill that super in the next week and I don't add another super is that a problem or do I want to definitely keep adding mediums as long as they are filling what they already have?

Thanks
 

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I would add. And add. And add.
They will stop filling when they know it's time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. I will give it a few more days then add another medium and see what happens. I am assuming worst case scenario is they do not draw or fill it, either way they have two deeps and a medium right now to get them through the winter. Hopefully it is not as brutal this year as it was last year.

Is it possible to give them too much space in the winter? Is it typical to have the hive configured a certain way or if they had two medium supers filled would it be acceptable to leave both of them on for the winter?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The number of bees you have is an important part of the equation. A target for the weight is another. Just feeding until it's all full isn't the best as they need somewhere to cluster for winter. The cluster is on empty comb with bees in the empty cells to increase the heat and the density...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I apologize in advance but I didn't understand what you said about "feeding until its all full isn't the best." I am not currently feeding so that had me confused, unless you are talking about something else. I have another medium super I plan on adding in a few days. A few of the frames in that have drawn comb, the rest just foundation. My plan is to put that on and see if they start filling it or not.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>>I would add. And add. And add.
They will stop filling when they know it's time.
> "feeding until its all full isn't the best."
> I am not currently feeding...

I was more referring to the "They will stop filling..." In my experience they won't. They are hoarders by nature and don't know how to turn down free syrup... the problem is if they backfill the entire brood nest then there really isn't anywhere to cluster. In my opinion, it's better to have a weight goal and stop when they reach that.
 

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Micheal, Flyin-low is not feeding. these bees are foraging and Flyin has been told by a local beekeeper that a fall flow is coming.

Flying, sounds like you bees have done well. I don't know what would be recommended for winter stores in your area. I use a deep and a medium here. I would add another medium once the top medium you have is 80% full. and see what they can do with it. I would also be looking to harvest the medium they have if it gets filled well. They will use that honey in the spring rearing brood so you decide just how badly you want honey this winter.

Don't count on any flow until the nectar is in the hive. you are in good shape now. don't mess with it. If it gets even better. then you can think about taking a medium of honey.
 
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