4kg of sugar in last week? Enough for overwintering?

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Beezy 

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Hi there,

Sorry, I know there's been a lot of questions about winter feeding, but I just need clarification on one point:

I've fed my bees 4 kgs of sugar (4pts water) in the last week. They have a half full super and about 4 frames of stores in the national brood box. I know they should overwinter with at least 20kgs of stores, and by my calculations they should have roughly 10 frames worth now (22kg).

Should I go on feeding them until they take no more? If I do this though, is there a risk they will completely stuff the bb and super and leave no room for laying?

Thanks.
 

admin 

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When you say half full super,have they drawn out the foundation on the empty super frames ?

I would give them another 4kg and keep an eye on the brood box,if they stuff it full then bruise the cappings to get them to move it up to the empty super frames.

Regards the brood box were are the 4 full frames,what number are they 3-4 and 5-6 ? both sides of the middle 2 frames ?
The queen only needs the centre couple of frames for laying this time of year.
 

Beezy 

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Hi admin,

Yes, the frames are all drawn out (apart from the very ends which face the bb walls). I have undersupered, so didn't want to encourage them to move stores up into the bb by bruising the cappings. Is this the right thing to do? I think it is numbers 3&4 & 5&6.

I wasn't planning on looking in the bb at this time of year, but it would probably be wise for me to have a quick peek when the weather is mild, just to see how space is going. Will do as you recommend and feed 4kg more and see how it goes.

Thanks very much!
 

Finman 

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The hive must be feeded full, otherwise bees do not cap the food.
Give as much as they stop taking.

No one knows how muchh you shoud feed. It depends how much they have brood anf stores before feeding.

Have you reduced the space for winter?
 

admin 

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No problem in London regards opening them up.
Anything around the teens and above is fine.

One of the habbits I have at this time of year is looking for the marked queen and making sure she is put back with care,the last thing you want to do is kill her at this time by being clumsy.
 

Queens59 

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I spent ages looking for HM - as so many books say find her at season end, but gave up. I have brood at all stages, and they are being nice so I think they are queenright. I am learning not to be stressy if I can't see her - they'll soon tell me if she isn't there...I hope...
 

Midland Beek 

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Should I go on feeding them until they take no more? If I do this though, is there a risk they will completely stuff the bb and super and leave no room for laying?.
I think the 'feed them until they take no more' advice isn't the best. If you did that you would have a bb and super needlessly crammed full of food. And if I did that with my MD hives they would weigh 100lb a piece and I would need a crane to move each one this winter.

I think the idea with winter feeding is to make sure your bees have enough, and that is what I think you have probably achieved with your bees. If you want to err on the side of caution there is probably a case for feeding a little more.
 

admin 

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Finman forgets that in the south of the uk the bees only cluster for a very short time.

They are often flying bringing in pollen by mid February.

Like Midland says give them another feed.
You can always give them a heft around xmas and offer some fondant if they are a little ight.
 

drstitson 

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By my calculations 6 full capped frames of super and 4 full capped frames of brood = 15+16=31lbs of stores.

So they need at least another 9 lbs.

is it better to get them to take down stores from the super frames rather than have extra space for winter.
 

Finman 

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Finman forgets that in the south of the uk the bees only cluster for a very short timeht.
it is not my duty to remember how warm is in london. it seems to be around 17c and we got here first snow. if colonies have brood over all winter they surely spend a lot food. 4 kg is nothing as winterfood.

And don't forget admin that you have really high dead rate during winter and what ever i say, it suit not for you.

When i visited in bexley they told that sometimes they have ice on ponds.
 
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Finman 

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Sugar is so cheap that don't save in that.
Best advice is that feed so much as they take.
So you need not feed in december. Yes, it is 1,5 months to december. Fondant ready!
 
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the naked beekeeper 

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How heavy are a full brood frame and super frame?
4lb and 2lbs??

I take it the winter calculations are for hives full of bees on all frames. A couple of mine are only on 6-7 frames. How many stores would they need roughly??
 

Finman 

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Calculations do not help wintering. You should have local knowledge what is safe store to hive.
The are many ventilation and insulation habits.

London is in south? Honeybee has developed in Africa. It stores and caps the stores
 

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