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trapperman 

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Right i put a super on about 4 weeks ago after finding some Queen cups i thought they might be wanting some more room, this is a nuc from end of May with 7-8 frames of brood the rest stores.
the first week or so they started to draw on 3-4 frames in the middle of the super and have stored about a couple of pounds of honey uncapped thats all and have done no more since.
If the flow has stopped or is stopping what should i now do with this?, will they move it down into the brood box when the Queen slows laying for the winter? its only slightly drawn so dont know whether it should be left on or taken off before feeding for winter.
it has a Q excluder between the super and brood.
they have done o.k i think but dont know if they are strong enough for brood and a half for winter?, if they are not strong enough can the extra room chill them?.
 

oliver90owner 

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Do you intend overwintering on a brood and a half if possible?

Any empty space above during the winter is not good for the bees.

There is yet time to fill a super with autumn feed - after they have raised the winter bees, or fed quickly while the brood box is full of brood. But that is autumn feeding, not at the beginning of August.

Unfortunately a lot (particularly the older) books were written when the autumnal weather did not last as long as perhaps it does in these times of 'climate change', and feeding was maybe carried out a couple of weeks earlier than it might be needed now, in the 21st century. Trouble is - predicting the d*mn weather - they, the weather people, seem to be no better these days than they were long ago!

Those with less than several colonies need to take more care to ensure feeding is completed. I would simply unite, move around stores, or insert insulated dummies/dividers at the edges of my larger format broods; no real sweat as long as all frames get capped.

Regards, RAB
 

wightbees 

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RAB
When / if, you unite do you then split again the following spring ?
 

trapperman 

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Do you intend overwintering on a brood and a half if possible?

Any empty space above during the winter is not good for the bees.

There is yet time to fill a super with autumn feed - after they have raised the winter bees, or fed quickly while the brood box is full of brood. But that is autumn feeding, not at the beginning of August.

Unfortunately a lot (particularly the older) books were written when the autumnal weather did not last as long as perhaps it does in these times of 'climate change', and feeding was maybe carried out a couple of weeks earlier than it might be needed now, in the 21st century. Trouble is - predicting the d*mn weather - they, the weather people, seem to be no better these days than they were long ago!

Those with less than several colonies need to take more care to ensure feeding is completed. I would simply unite, move around stores, or insert insulated dummies/dividers at the edges of my larger format broods; no real sweat as long as all frames get capped.

Regards, RAB
I just want them to have the best chance of getting through winter as they are my only colony, what i might do then is leave the super on and see what they do this month and then decide.
should i remove the Q excluder now would this help speed things up?.
 

oliver90owner 

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Wightbees,

Split again? There would only be one queen!

When I unite it is to strengthen colonies for the winter. Might spread the bees between a couple colonies. Retain the best/youngest queens, only unite healthy colonies, etc.

Splits in the spring would be using chosen queens (for rearing queen cells) and using colonies I choose - might be bees from a colony I don't want to move (eg Dartington), might be a frame or two from more than one colony.

I might add bees to some colonies or even unite in springtime to strengthen them as a foraging force for the OSR. Then split, if they don't start swarm preparations towards the end of the OSR.

I don't have a plan, I just do what I want when I want. It is, after all, just a hobby and not a commercial enterprise. I don't worry too much, just try to keep them out of trouble and put right any problems as they arise, if I am unable to pre-empt the situation.

I might actually get a deal of honey one year! Possibly not a lot another. I missed the OSR, mostly, this year (bees developed later than the OSR which 'caught up' after a slow start, while the bees needed an extra brood cycle to be ready) and didn't find any spring sown OSR. Chap twenty miles up the way had a bumper crop off 25Ha spring OSR he located. I was happy for him and not too bothered about mine. There has been adequate forage for them all season, so far.

My typical take on beekeeping, for instance; queenlessness is a real bear if one only has the one colony. With half a dozen or more that problem does not really arise. So the same with winter; unite to be more sure of overwintering the one strong colony rather than worry about losing both weaker ones, or having painfully slow build-up in the spring. Compromise and prediction all the time.

Same with winter losses. Make them up by splitting in the spring - as long as one has enough colonies left to do that easily! Only colony I actually lost during last winter was a really strong one, not reinforced, plenty of stores, little varroa, but dead. Cannot possibly win 'em all!

Making parts keeps my woodworking bits and pieces in use, and keeps me busy enough at times. Knocked up ten simple varroah floors this week - just need the mesh to finish them off. It may be ten hive stands next week. I don't need them all, but might as well make ten while I am thicknessing the timber. Some of my earlier kit (second hand) is now failing after ten years.

If I ever retire, I might run the bees as a small enterprise. Until then they cost me time effort and materials, but I enjoy it as just one of several hobbies I have in the melting pot.

Regards, RAB

PS how about that for a simple response!?!
 

oliver90owner 

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trapperman,

You might just as well remove it if planning to over-winter on a brood and a half. It may not speed things up but might encourage a bit more comb drawing. Autumn feeding can then fill it for the winter.

Regards, RAB
 

wightbees 

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Thank you for taking the time to explain your working method of bee keeping.
I think to much maybe, but i will get there in the end.
If my small hive don't improve i will unite.
Sorry for the hijack of your thread trapperman .
regards
 

trapperman 

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Right i`ve left super on with no excluder till now and they have not done any more with it perhaps an extra pound of honey at most only half capped and still only on the middle 3-4 frames. seems to be more pollen than necter coming in at present.

on doing an inspection today the stores in the brood are down to only 2 frames full and odd areas on the other frames, queen is doing well lots of eggs etc.

But i dont think now that it is worth leaving this super on for the winter as they havent drawn any more of the foundation out to fill it even when i start to feed.

so my question is what is the best way to get them to take this honey down for winter, theres not much so i may as well let them have it.

An old beekeeper i know said to just put the crownboard between the super and brood with no bee escape in, super on top, with maybe an eke or empty super to seperate them further and they will then take it down, will this work?

Or any advice on a better way, thanks.
 

trapperman 

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bump back up to posts #2, 4 and 6.

How many? 'lots' is subjective.

RAB
maybe i`m worrying to much, new to this my first year and all that.

i know you said there is still time to fill it but they have not drawn any more foundation at all in the last 3 weeks (would they draw this out during feeding and then fill it).

I did think they may draw some more whilst feeding but then was worried this may take to long and as you say you never know what the weather is going to do, and all the threads on, Dont feed to early, Dont feed to late, Fermenting syrup because the bees havent capped it, etc.

You must remember your first year, it can all be a bit daunting.
 

Skyhook 

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so my question is what is the best way to get them to take this honey down for winter, theres not much so i may as well let them have it.

An old beekeeper i know said to just put the crownboard between the super and brood with no bee escape in, super on top, with maybe an eke or empty super to seperate them further and they will then take it down, will this work?

Or any advice on a better way, thanks.
It's my first time too, but if it's any help... I put supers back on for cleaning, and the silly girls put patches of honey back in it, some capped, some definitely not finished, and I wanted the supers off for Apiguard. So I've taken them off, extracted it (about 2-3 lb) and put it in the fridge until autumn feeding, when they can have it back to put in the brood box. Quite pleased actually, as this way they get hioney instead of syrup, but I can still thymolise it.
 

trapperman 

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Cheers mate i may do that, i dont have an extractor yet as i wasnt expecting to get honey this year, but theres not much so i suppose i could just scrape it off into a bowl then feed it back.
 

Skyhook 

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Cheers mate i may do that, i dont have an extractor yet as i wasnt expecting to get honey this year, but theres not much so i suppose i could just scrape it off into a bowl then feed it back.
Are you in a n association? I borrowed the association one.
 

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