Honey Harvest is done now what do I do??

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

LauraB 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Preston
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
2
I’m in my first year and wondering what I need to do now I’ve taken some honey off.

I have 2 hives in my garden, one of which I have managed to extract some honey from ~ 15lb off 6 frames, the other came from an AS of Hive 1 so no honey off them! I started the varroa treatment (on both) when I took the honey off.

Hive 1
I don’t think I need to feed as I reckon there’s about 25-30lb of stores – is this right?
I’ve put the empty frames back on the hive but they’re in the 2nd super with 2 full ish but uncapped honey frames in as well. Do I leave 2 supers on for winter, wouldn’t this be too cold for them, or if I should remove them what do I do with the frames and the possible honey in them?

Hive 2
I think they need about 10-15lb stores for winter, what does this equate to in sugar syrup weight?

What else do I need to do, other than buy a new bee book to read over winter (any recommendations)?!

Thanks
 

tazbee 

House Bee
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
231
Reaction score
0
Location
Cornwall
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
6
Hi Laura

Going into winter I aim to have 40 -45lb of stores on each hive ( I feed syrup to make up the short fall) During the winter months I lift the rear of the hive to gage how much stores are there, if stores are low I feed with fondant.

Hope this helps

John
 

drstitson 

Queen Bee
Joined
Aug 4, 2010
Messages
7,657
Reaction score
0
Location
surrey, lincolnshire etc.
Hive Type
dadant
Number of Hives
14
your two supers should be above the crownboard. i think you need to damage the capping on any capped frames in them. bees will take all the honey down and then you can remove the supers before winter.
 

kazmcc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
2
Location
Longsight, Manchester, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
None, although I have my eye on one ( Just don't tell Dusty ;) )
Why does our mentor intend feeding our colony. We easily have 40 lb of stores ( if recent calculations are correct. 10 full super frames and a fair amount of capped honey in the brood box too, plus other stores that aren't capped yet. Brood takes up 9 1/2 frames altogether. Surely this is enough for winter. Will he be feeding just in case? ( IDK in case of what though :p )
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,752
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Why does our mentor intend feeding our colony. We easily have 40 lb of stores ( if recent calculations are correct. 10 full super frames and a fair amount of capped honey in the brood box too, plus other stores that aren't capped yet. Brood takes up 9 1/2 frames altogether. Surely this is enough for winter. Will he be feeding just in case? ( IDK in case of what though :p )
Karen, sad but true that bees can often starve in winter because it is very cold and although stores are there the bees whilst close to a food source never quite get there because they have exhausted everything around them. Great you have a strong colony but generally people fill up the brood nest with stores as it becomes available to give them the best chance - so that the colony can slowly move up as winter progresses and then latterally with the beek knowing that what ever way they go they can progress on to new stores. Think about it. It is easier for them to move across frames not through them so not all frames are equally accessible. A fully charged BB also protects if there is a warm early spring period followed by colder again, the girls may be a liitle more mobile at this point and the spare stores again provide some insurance.
 

kazmcc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Messages
3,149
Reaction score
2
Location
Longsight, Manchester, UK
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
None, although I have my eye on one ( Just don't tell Dusty ;) )
Thanks Rosti. That makes me think. There is a small gap between the brood box and the super. I know they build comb between this, so how do they access the other frames? Do they crawl over them or under? How do they do this as a cluster?
 

Rosti 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
1,752
Reaction score
0
Location
North Yorks, UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
its only 8mm as a gap, even without bridging they could move in any direction through it and they would not build to the extent they could not move. I wintered on brood + 1/2 last winter before going to 14x12, they'll be fine and thank you for the extras. It is believed that the cluster slowly rotates inner to outer and back so that no bees chill to death at the edges. how they move as a cluster through a brood chamber beats me, but they do, part of their remarkable super organism reputation! R
 
Last edited:

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,738
Reaction score
156
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
LauraB,

It sounds as though you have done fine so far, reading your few back-posts.

Now to the WBC hive.

A location would be good, but the advice will be similar. I will assume you to be about Northumbria, but expect you are somewhat further south!

About 20kg of stores are regarded as sufficient for most instances. You need to remember this is not only for winter warmth, but for early spring brooding as well.
You need to bear in mind that you are a 'frame short of a National' in a WBC.

Hive #1

You say they are in the second super; does that mean there is already a full super on ?

If so, do not put it above the crownboard, do not score (damage the cappings)! That is their winter store already in situ. Make sure the queen excluder is removed before winter and leave them with a full super of food above the brood box. That should be enough for the winter.

You will need to carefully regulate the ventilation, if above, so that it is adequate to keep the hive dry without creating a 'chimney effect' directly above the cluster. I could never (in my early seasons) manage to keep the hives ventilated just right, so I changed to OMFs and the problem of needing any top ventilation went away!

You will, need insulation at least over the crown board and extra will not do any harm, as long as it does not get wet. I initially used carpet tiles, towels, old sheets, etc. These days a sheet of expanded polystyrene is very useful.

Fit a mouseguard a little before the bees cluster.

Cross fingers and inspect externally periodically. Hefting a WBC is not so easy as a National, but with a super of stores they should be OK for the whole winter and only need fondant or a spring feed Late Feb/ Early March. Check that the entrancre is not obscured by dead bees.

Hive #2

The second hive will need feeding to hopefully fill a super above the brood as well. Small colonies need more food 'pro rata' than a larger colony as they will lose thermal energy at a higher rate per bee than those with a larger cluster. The spring brooding amount will depend on the bees surviving the winter and if that colony were to get a head start on the stronger one by, say, 2/3 of a brood cycle, they may quite quickly catch up the stronger colony.

You give no indication of it's strength so am assuming you simply have a brood box full of bees but no super fitted.

I would, I think, be considering moving drawn frames from hive #1 (2nd super) and placing above #2 and feeding heavily to fill the super.

I might be thinking of swapping a frame of capped brood from the stronger hive to reinforce the smaller, but it is getting late in the year if you are as far north as Northumbria, so care must be exercised to make sure that you don't weaken the colony too much!

Having said that, I have over-wintered some small colonies in a WBC, which would more likely have failed in a National.

If the boxes cannot be filled, quite quickly now, I would be dummying the boxes to reduce the unused space the bees have to keep warm.

Ten to fifteen of stores is approx ten to fifteen of sugar (never minding units), less a little for processing costs.

The rest as hive#1.

The above dates are approx. YMMV considerably, dependent on location, topography etc, but that would likely have been my plan when I ran WBCs.

Regards, RAB
 

Mushy Bees 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4
Don't forget to remove the queen excluder! But you knew that :)
 

LauraB 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Preston
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
2
Thanks all,

Hive 1 – I have a full super on at the moment, its above the QEx but below the crown board (as is the 2nd super). They have at least 2+ brood frames (both sides) of stores when I last looked, if not more by now. They are still bringing in pollen too – nice day today and there is Himalayan balsam nearby. Do I leave both supers on even if it isn’t capped? Won’t this mean more area to keep warm?

Hive 2 – should have mentioned that they have one super on too, but only have drawn out about 4 frames worth, mostly filled but not capped (didn’t have any drawn out comb as its my 1st year). I fed them last night and I’ll keep it filled until I’ve given them about 10-15lb I think. Brood seems to be doing well though. Do I need to fill the space above the one super – lots of air space above that under the roof.

I was going to remove the QEx and put the mousegaurds in in about 3 weeks (subject to Himalayan balsam & weather)

all that said its been an exciting and very enjoyable 1st year :)
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,738
Reaction score
156
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
I was going to remove the QEx and put the mousegaurds in in about 3 weeks

Who knows when they are likely to cluster? I certainly don't. I don't think the weather people have got so much of a clue, excepting what they can actually see on their radar!

So I am never too prescriptive with dates and times.

One super is enough for winter stores, more is unecessary. If you get a further surplus, collect some more for yourself! Certainly you must not leave uncapped honey on the hive over the winter. It is likely to ferment. The bees will know that, generally.

Do I need to fill the space above the one super

You could, but again half a metre thick of expanded polystyrene is a bit OTT!!! You might want to consider removing some of the lifts?

Regards, RAB
 

LauraB 

New Bee
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Location
Preston
Hive Type
wbc
Number of Hives
2
i didn't want to put the mouseguards on too soon as they're still bringing pollen in as i thought that it can knock pollen off them.

hopefully they're moving any leftovers out of the extracted frames to downstairs but i'll prob move some of the fuller mostly capped frames into the other hive super so they both only have one super on.
Is there a potential i do this too early and they might not have any where to put any more stores their bringing in?

and how do i store the drawn super comb off hive over winter?
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
15,738
Reaction score
156
Location
Lincolnshire
Hive Type
14x12
how do i store the drawn super comb off hive over winter?

I really don't how you do it. Please tell us all!

What I do is pack them fairly closely together in supers, make a stack of the supers and fumigate against wax moth on a regular basis.

Spraying with 'certan' was used one year; deep freezing, then sealing in plastic bags, another.....

Regards, RAB
 

Latest posts

Top