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Another thymol/super question

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Hi. Sorry if this sounds similar to other posts, but I didn't want to hi-jack someone elses.

One of my colonies is pretty strong, with lots of brood but very little stores in the brood box. Its filled 2 supers though.

It's my intention to take off one of the supers for honey this weekend and leave the other (without a QE) for the bees over winter.

The flow appears to have ground to a halt around here, though I'm not sure if there is any ivy about to make a late appearance.

So, if I'm going to apply a thymol treatment in the coming weeks my options appear to be

a) Leave the over-winter super on - in which case does it matter if I put the thymol treatment over it or the brood box?

b) Take off both supers and trust that the bees will manage on their own (sounds far too risky)

c) Take off both supers, feed them sugar syrup to keep them going while treating and replace the over winter super afterwards

d) (something else ...?)

Thanks in advance, like all new beeks here I do appreciate your patience!
 

oliver90owner 

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d) Remove both supers and extract. Replace one of them and feed only as necessary. Treat, after removing any part-filled super (if bees will fit the brood) and allow bees to either fill the super with forage or top up with sugar later. Do this, or something like, while considering the options along-side your other hive. I am sure there will be a solution with all things considered, like transferring the part filled frames to the other hive (even temporarily?)

Take a clean sheet of paper and list out your options. Go with the best you come up with, which is practical. Replacing an empty drawn super after treatment should be fillable with sugar honey for the winter, if the forage has reduced. But there may be a part-filled super on your other colony and the bees may well be filling the frames yet.

If your other colony is 'not so strong' you could be reinforcing it with a frame (or two) of capped, or even hatching, brood while restricting the stronger colony to the single box.

Lots of options, no simple answer that is going to still be the correct one by next week, or next month.

Regards, RAB
 

HebeGeeBees 

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Mr A

I think that it may be my thread that you were referring to, which seems to have gone a bit off-piste and turned into a discussion of different types of varroa treatment.

I think that my set up was much like your strong hive ie not much stores in brood box, strong colony - so still lots of bees, and 2 supers (one only half full).

Today I have harvested the full super (my first, so very exciting!) and tomorrow I plan to put it back on the hive (under the half-filled super) so that the bees can clean it up before put it into store for winter. I am then planning to put an eke above the brood box with the apiguard (and the cappings left over from extraction) the QX above and then the half-filled super.

Before I finally shut up for winter if I think that there is still not enough food in the brood box I will removed the QX and leave the super on. I think that I would prefer not to have the extra super on because I'd rather that the bees had a smaller area to keep warm. At the moment however, it feels as if there are too many bees and not enough stores in the brood box to remove all of the supers - but I want to get on with the Apiguard before the temperatures fall too much.

I've only been keeping bees since the end of June so I don't really know what I'm doing but these are my thoughts.
 
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Rab, HBGB, thank you very much for the replies. Given me plenty to think about.

I do feel a total idiot sometimes with these questions but I'm one of those people who like to have a clear plan in my head and managing the many variables associated with beekeeping can seem fairly overwhelming sometimes.

As always, thanks for patience.
 

oliver90owner 

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Don't have your plan just 'in your head'. Write it down. The weaknesses are much more readily assessed (and evident). Also so much easier to modify, when things don't quite go to the original plan (and how often does that happen?).

I don't bother quite so much now but still sometimes need to get a clear plan of available kit or where the bees need to be, when they need to be there (for a future move to 'elsewhere') and how they are going to finish up arriving at their winter quarters, for instance.

Regards, RAB
 

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