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Overwintering

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clare p 

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I will be,
A swarm from July, have been feeding them up and they have filled up most of the brood box so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will make it through the winter.
I have treated with apiguard about to do second dose, have been feeding with a rapid feeder and not wishing to hijack this post would like to know what else you can do to ensure a safe winter for the gals!
 

starflex 

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I will be, as well.

I did last winter with 1 hive, and will be this year with 2 hives. My plan is to switch to 14 x 12 next year, as I have concluded that the Nat BB is too small.

I'm be at the end of week 3 of Apiguard tomorrow. Once that is over, I have some honey to feed back ,and then top up with a 2:1 syrup feed. The hives want to be about a good 40 lbs and heavy to "heft", ie you go "ughhhh" when you give them a lift at the back!!
 

Black Comb 

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I will be,
and not wishing to hijack this post would like to know what else you can do to ensure a safe winter for the gals!
Put some insulation board on top of crown board.
 

Leigh 

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All of mine will be bar one (14x12) and the nucs. They seem to do fine like this, although I will be changeing over to 14"x12", mainly to get more bees bred/honey made. Beeks have successfully over wintered single BB nat colonies for years.....
 
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Going on expected colony sizes, one of mine will be on a single and one on a brood and a half. Like starflex planning on moving both to 14x12 next year
 

oliver90owner 

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I would be interested to hear how the single brood box National, on an OMF, overwinters in most areas.

When I tried my first OMF, I was on a brood + super with an empty super below, then went 14 x 12 to avoid the aggravation of wild comb as an extra spring-time problem. I was being over-cautious, I suppose, but got sorted with OMFs and 14 x 12 and changed to top bee space all in a couple seasons. (well, it took longer to change it all over but those times saw some rapid developments, and so I have never experienced a single standard brood on an OMF over the winter!

Regards, RAB
 

margob99 

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My first colony arrived 1st June last year and grew prolifically. But because I'm a newbie (and I was even newer at that time) I didn't know about brood-and-a-half, so I over-wintered them on a single National BB, over an OMF.

I will admit to being ... ahem .... over-zealous in looking after them through the winter. :) I kept an empty super over them, stuffed with insulation (don't ask, too ridiculous to describe). I built a windbreak around the hive, including a lean-to roof during the periods of snow.

I fed them at the beginning of winter with a 2:1 mix, and candy at Christmas.

I doubt that any of the stuff I'm describing actually helped (except for the feed), but they survived just fine and thriving.

They, and their offspring swarm in my second colony, will be over-wintering this year in a brood-and-a-half (that's if I can make sure they have a Q. But that's another story.)

However, I'm moving to 14 x 12 come spring because, yes, single nat BB is too small and I loathe hive inspections in a brood-and-a-half hive. Very traumatic and disruptive - for the bees AND for me.
 

clare p 

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As a newbee just wanted to know if you were to overwinter with a single national brood box, OMF and a full super with insulated roof without the queen excluder would that be the best situation to ensure adequate supplies for the winter?
Sorry very basic question....:)
 

oliver90owner 

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clare p,

Definitely the best, if on 10 frame WBC boxes, to overwinter on the brood and a half. That extra box of stores is really needed for the 'smaller than National' format.

Lots of insulation over (and around) the boxes (nearly anything will do from old coats to, towels, carpet tiles, etc,). That way they can be literally 'as snug as a bug in a rug'!

Regards, RAB
 

louiseww 

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I think you are being too modest, it all helped in the very cold winter we had. Our group advocates Cellotex cut to size to go under the roof and also brood frame shaped ones to go in the sides (removing a couple of frames and storing until Jan/Feb). Apparently (I am a novice) they need to be cosy but with plenty of ventilation so that they don't produce moisture!
 

mbc 

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single standard national brood box, no added insulation, hardly any feed apart from god given goldenrod/balsom/ivy stores and they seem to survive just fine so long as they dont have too much varroa load
 

kazmcc 

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I asked why you couldn't wrap the hive in a quilt and got laughed at! I was thinking something like those old boiler insulators. We are on an extremely full brood and a half national, with a recently installed OMF. I don't know if our mentor intends to insulate, I will ask at the next meeting. I learnt last night that ply is warmer than cedar, which surprised me. I feel much better about them over wintering in this temporary hive now though.
 

Skyhook 

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I learnt last night that ply is warmer than cedar, which surprised me. I feel much better about them over wintering in this temporary hive now though.
I would be very surprised if that were the case. The reason cedar is lighter is that it contains more air/less solid matter, therefore a better insulator. I guess the ply might be more resistant to wetting in a long period of wet weather- which is why I've treated my cedar hive with the linseed oil/wax mixture to keep them warm and dry. :smilie_bett:
 

kazmcc 

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I would be very surprised if that were the case. The reason cedar is lighter is that it contains more air/less solid matter, therefore a better insulator. I guess the ply might be more resistant to wetting in a long period of wet weather- which is why I've treated my cedar hive with the linseed oil/wax mixture to keep them warm and dry. :smilie_bett:
I was very suprised too, but I was told this by Muswell, and he knows his stuff. I think it was Muswell Metro, we were all in the beekeepers arms last night and I was a bit tipsy ;) lol
 

chrischris 

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As a new bee keeper I would appreciate any thoughts about leaving the QE in place with a full super above the brood box for the winter or is is it best to take out the QE. Views from those with more experience would be appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation

Chris
 

kazmcc 

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I'm not experienced, but read that they can be reluctant to go up and retrieve stores if there is a QE on in winter. I think it is something to do with leaving the cluster around the queen and the temperature of the cluster dropping and bees dying. I may be wrong. I'm sure someone will correct me if I am.

If you intend to leave the super for the bees for winter, then why leave the QE on in the first place?
 

Foxylad 

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Do not leave the QE on you will lose the colony.

If there is a full super on the colony will move up over the winter.

The colony will move up with the queen, if she cant move up they will starve in the brood box.

I leave mine on top of the insulation under the roof.
 

Poly Hive 

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You do NOT over winter with the excluder in. End of.

Oh and poly is considerably warmer still.....;)

PH
 

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