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My bees are currently drawing frames and filling them in the super. What I want to know is how to feed this back to them. Do I put the super under the brood box with or without a queen excluder, and do I need to remove any cappings?
:cheers2:
 

oliver90owner 

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My bees are currently drawing frames and filling them in the super. What I want to know is how to feed this back to them.

Don't understand the reasoning behind this.

Why? Sounds very much like making them extra unnecessary work! Let them continue to collect. More honey stores equals less you need to feed later. Consider what would the bees be doing if they were not being poked and prodded by a beekeeper.

You could simply leave it on over winter as a brood and a half. Remove the QE as, otherwise, they will leave the queen behind if they have to move up into those stores.

Where would you expect them to put it if you feed it back? Sounds like they may need to draw another super to put it in! If they fill it, put another one on. We are only in the middle of August. If you have the flexibility of spare stores, you are in a good position to prepare for winter without worrying so much about timing of winter feed, if even required.

In your shoes, I would not put another super on. I would remove any capped frames (at the few inspections) and replace with another frame (drawn comb, if possible).

When the time comes for making a feeding decision, you might have several honey frames you could simply replace. You might think, 'I'll have that' and feed back sugar.

You might want to remove any capped combs at that point and feed sugar to fill the super. You may wish simply to remove the super (if about full), feed to fill the storage in the brood and then replace the super, knowing it to be proper honey which can be part of next year's crop.

You could mark any capped frames of honey (simple drawing pin into the top frame bar?) so that you can recognise them easily in the spring.

A super on the brood will leave more than enough stores for the winter. You could winter on the brood only. I prefer not to - the reason being that outside combs, of stores not used, afford a degree of insulation if the cluster is central. You would less likely to be needing to feed in the spring for brood expansion (simply scrape open some capped honey).

Possible your bees will only consume 10kg of stores over the actual dormant months, but you can never bank on that scenario unless you are prepared to feed early in the new year if things don't turn out, for instance, as benign as last winter (the really quiet period was only about 6-7 weeks).

Lots of alternatives. With one colony yours are limited somewhat, but that is life. half a dozen hives is a much different story, but still the same applies.

'Molly coddlle' your one colony. Keep it warm, sufficiently ventilated (to prevent any damp), enough food for the duration, without any spare 'head-space' (warmth rises and the heat leaks out), healthy and it will almost certainly survive the winter strong and expand ready for the early spring flows.

Regards, RAB
 

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When bees store sugarsyrup,prosessing takes 25% from syrup.

So to make them move stores, takes much more work/energy to make stupid job.

And capped combs?
 
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At the moment they are drawing and filling frames in the super, non is capped yet and may not be before the end of the season. My post is me thinking ahead. I intend to feed the stores back to them as some of it will be sugar syrup. I'm sure that feeding already processed honey/syrup gives them less work to do than feeding syrup as an Autumn feed. I put the super on a week ago as they were running out of space in the brood chamber. The brood chamber is full of mostly capped brood with some stores, so I didn't want to risk them swarming. The suggestion of brood and a half is out of the question, I won't be getting into multiple brood chambers at this stage of bee keeping. Do keep your advice coming and when something turns up that appeals to me I'll give it a whirl.
:cheers2:
 

Finman 

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so I didn't want to risk them swarming. :
A small hive and this time of year. It surely not swarm.

When you have a super and brood under it, you may feed winterfood later to the super. When most of brood have emerged, them feed the brood box.
 

match 

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I've been told that if you leave the super on, but put an empty (i.e no frames in it) super between it and the brood box, the bees will move the honey down and put it into the brood frames. I've not tried this myself though, but I can see that this would probably work (the bees not liking a big gap between their stores).
 

MJBee 

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Putting an empty super box between brood and super doesn't always work:( I have 2 colonies with a super that has a little uncapped honey (15% full) and was trying that method - result no change in honey content and VERY defensive bees. I am going to put a clearer board under both, store wet and hope it doesn't ferment. I need to get all supers off to start Apiguard treatment while the weather is still hot.
 
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Putting an empty super box between brood and super doesn't always work:( I have 2 colonies with a super that has a little uncapped honey (15% full) and was trying that method - result no change in honey content and VERY defensive bees.
Which is why my idea was to put the super under the brood chamber and let them clean it out. My only decision was whether to use a queen excluder and bruise the cappings.
 

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My bees are currently drawing frames and filling them in the super. What I want to know is how to feed this back to them.

Don't understand the reasoning behind this.

Why? Sounds very much like making them extra unnecessary work! Let them continue to collect. More honey stores equals less you need to feed later. Consider what would the bees be doing if they were not being poked and prodded by a beekeeper.

You could simply leave it on over winter as a brood and a half. Remove the QE as, otherwise, they will leave the queen behind if they have to move up into those stores.

Where would you expect them to put it if you feed it back? Sounds like they may need to draw another super to put it in! If they fill it, put another one on. We are only in the middle of August. If you have the flexibility of spare stores, you are in a good position to prepare for winter without worrying so much about timing of winter feed, if even required.

In your shoes, I would not put another super on. I would remove any capped frames (at the few inspections) and replace with another frame (drawn comb, if possible).

When the time comes for making a feeding decision, you might have several honey frames you could simply replace. You might think, 'I'll have that' and feed back sugar.

You might want to remove any capped combs at that point and feed sugar to fill the super. You may wish simply to remove the super (if about full), feed to fill the storage in the brood and then replace the super, knowing it to be proper honey which can be part of next year's crop.

You could mark any capped frames of honey (simple drawing pin into the top frame bar?) so that you can recognise them easily in the spring.

A super on the brood will leave more than enough stores for the winter. You could winter on the brood only. I prefer not to - the reason being that outside combs, of stores not used, afford a degree of insulation if the cluster is central. You would less likely to be needing to feed in the spring for brood expansion (simply scrape open some capped honey).

Possible your bees will only consume 10kg of stores over the actual dormant months, but you can never bank on that scenario unless you are prepared to feed early in the new year if things don't turn out, for instance, as benign as last winter (the really quiet period was only about 6-7 weeks).

Lots of alternatives. With one colony yours are limited somewhat, but that is life. half a dozen hives is a much different story, but still the same applies.

'Molly coddlle' your one colony. Keep it warm, sufficiently ventilated (to prevent any damp), enough food for the duration, without any spare 'head-space' (warmth rises and the heat leaks out), healthy and it will almost certainly survive the winter strong and expand ready for the early spring flows.

Regards, RAB
RAB

As a first year beek I have a similar situation. A June 2009 nuc in standard single National broodbox, Lots of bees (Buckfast queen) and 2 supers 90% full of nectar with perhaps a quarter of that capped. The reason for the 2 supers was that first was added in early July, quickly drawn out and 3/4 capped within a week or so then I added a second. The weather turned lousy and the girls seemed to then uncap the stores in the first super and only gradually fill the second super with nectar. Since then they have marked time with loads of brood (no stores in the brood box), drones still around and queen laying happily and no QCs.

I know I will have to Apiguard shortly and realise that taking honey this year is not really an option because of the limited time left, the need to ensure the colony has a reasonable level of stores and also the medication issue.

What are the logistics of what I do next? Should I just leave things as they are as I am told that the bees will take the stores down to the brood box as their numbers diminish and cells/ frames free up. Or should I convert to a brood and a half for the winter and if so what about the second less full super? Also how late can I leave the Apiguard...my varroa check 10 days go was nil.

Advice would be appreciated...................
 

tkwinston4 

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Can I ask what may be a stupid question? My girls are working very hard and have filled one super and are halfway through another. I don't want much honey for me, I may take one frame but that would be it. Can I leave both supers on over winter? What about treating for varroa? Does the treatment affect the stores that they have built up? Sorry if those are stupid questions but the only way to learn is to ask those in the know. Cheers.
 

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I think there a probably quite a few of us novice beeks who have a single super with minimal honey ( 2 frames, partly capped, in my case).

I do not wish to remove this small amount as it is better invested in the girls. What is the best way to get them to move it into the BC, as part of their winter stores? So back to the original post - is placing the super under the BC going to be a viable plan?
 

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My local Bee Inspector always leaves the first super on for the bees, so if it's good enough for a Bee Inspector ....... . One full super will be enough, because if they've got a full super upstairs they'll also have stores downstairs. Leaving two supers on is not such a good idea as it creates a large air space above the cluster and they may not be able to generate enough heat to survive. If you do leave a super on remember to take off the queen excluder. The cluster won't move into the super without the queen.

Steve
 

starflex 

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Hi Steve, I agree with you.

It's what to do with a super that is far from full that is the question. I want the super off, so I can feed to ensure sufficent winter stores and wish to make best use of the couple of frames that are only partly capped.
 

wbchive 

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Hi Steve, I agree with you.

It's what to do with a super that is far from full that is the question. I want the super off, so I can feed to ensure sufficent winter stores and wish to make best use of the couple of frames that are only partly capped.
OK. In the past I've done this. Usually it works. Other local beekeepers have done it too, in fact it was them who told me. You need an eke to lift the roof up far enough to lay a frame on its side on the crown board and still have a bit of room to spare between the frame and the roof. Take off your less than full super and take out one of the partly capped frames. Scrape the cappings lightly just so that the capped cells are open. Put it on the crown board over the hole so that a bit of honey runs down into the hive to attract the bees' attention. If necessary raise the edge of the frame so that the bees can get up through the hole into the eke space to get at the honey. They should empty it and take the honey down pretty pronto, then you do the same with the other frames. If it works this method is less destructive than scraping the frames down and pouring the mushy mess onto the crownboard for them to find.
Some people say that you should do this late in the day as it may encourage robbing. This doesn't really apply to you as you've only one colony, but if there are any other beekeepers very close by they may not be too pleased if your bees rob their hives.
Sorry about the long reply.

Steve
 

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Thanks Steve, I'll be doing that this afternoon. I have an eke at hand that just the right size.
 
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Put the super under the brood chamber, the bees don't like honey under brood, which is why the always store it above the brood. They will then move it up into the brood chamber.
 

oliver90owner 

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I thought i was reasonably clear for those beeks with one hive in their first year. A super of stores is the easiest and safest route to go. Whether that is honey or sugar is up to the beekeeper, but flexibility is using what you have already, rather than stealing it and finishing up with problems later.

regards, RAB
 
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A super of stores is the easiest and safest route to go.

regards, RAB
I don't think leaving the super on is the right way for me to go. I don't want to end up with bees on brood and a half as that will make work for me next year removing them from the super. Also I would have thought that the extra space would give the bees too large an area to keep warm. When my bees have stopped bringing nectar in I will put the super under the queen excluder, that way I am not taking any honey in the first year and they won't have to process the sugar syrup.
 

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