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dudley 

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I was just planning on getting ready for over wintering, feeders etc, and remembered I still had one hive that I forgot to extract honey from. At the time I ran out of equipment, jars etc and planned to get back to it later but forgot.
It is a national hive with a deep brood and one very very full super. Also its a really strong colony.
Should I simply remove the queen excluder and allow them to use it for themselves and have a big brood and a half next spring, or take it off and extract it or could I use it somehow to feed my other hives over the winter, nope that wont work as there all deep frames and I cannot just slip a supers in can I ? , anyway can you help guys?
Thanks Steve.
 
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Hi Steve - You dont say how much stores are in the existing brood, suspect the answer may lie there - although my totally inexperienced viewpoint would be to leave them with it if they are so strong anyway.
 

Mike a 

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Be nice to your bees, remove the QE and leave the super on for them. :grouphug:

Out of interest did you treat them with the super on?
 
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dudley 

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Be nice to your bees, remove the QE and leave the super on for them. :grouphug:

Out of interest did you treat them with the super on?
It was when I was going around with Apiguard 2 weeks ago that brought this full super to my attention. So I did not treat this hive and now the weather is chilly but still all my bees are busy bringing in pollen. It has been very warm here in my part of Kent right up until now. I do not know if it will be worth treating this hive now (super staying on or off) as I believe Apiguard does not work well below 15deg and my Varroa count was almost 0 every time I looked this year. That on a total of 11 hives divided on 3 apiaries just about 3 miles apart.
 
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I don't think you can use honey from one hive to feed others - due to spread of disease? If it was mine, I would take off the QE and let them have it...and then if it is still full in Spring extract then.
 

Midland Beek 

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I am assuming this colony has not been fed, in which case if you take off the super you are quite possibly depriving them of their reserve of food. Very real chance of them starving in winter, especially if the colony is a strong one.

Too late for feeding now.
 
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Am I right in thinking that they might think,, "hey, look at all this food for the winter,,, we can now have a bigger family", and then you remove the food and the big family dont have enought to eat..
 

oliver90owner 

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they might think,, "hey, look at all this food for the winter,,, we can now have a bigger family"

I don't think bees are that stupid. Certainly some strains do breed excessively for their particular locale late into the autumn, but that is the beekeeper's fault not of the bees making.

Using local queens for heading colonies is not always chosen; some replacements bought in can be appropriate and widens the gene pool but this is not a scenario thought about or even understood by many of those that follow that route. Those beekeepers are usually the ones that are only interested in a particular trait, to the exclusion of a better, balanced choice of strain for the particular environment or even specific habitat.

Well adjusted strains normally store enough for winter and are frugal with those hard-earned goodies. The size of the colony is reduced mainly by reduced lay-rate (therefore feeding) of the queen and a bit by exclusion of drones from the hive. The beekeeper only takes the excess or often rather more than that and replaces those needed supplies with sugar syrup (feeding for over-wintering).

It is a balance or compromise. Any greeedy beekeper who takes (and doesn't replace) too much honey from the hive is likely to lose that colony over the winter. They are no longer proper, responsible beekeepers if they continue in that fashion, IMO. Go back 100 years and colonies were often destroyed to gain the crop, 150 years and most were destroyed for the crop. That is not an acceptable method these days when the framed hive is available for production, or even TBHs (where only surplus comb is removed).

Humans have caused so much grief for the bees, and other fauna, by modern agricultural practices. It is about time every beekeeper started to think about their actions and not just follow the 'sales line' of the supplier, simply out to make a good living off the beekeeper's unfortunate ignorance (of the damage they may be doing to a species already stressed to the limits by actions of previous 'beekeepers' and the modern methods of agriculture - which will include monocrops and use of pesticides).

Regards, RAB
 
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I don't think bees are that stupid.
Well, I can understand that part of your answer but dont see how the rest of the answer is relevent to the original question....or to what I posted either.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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On a good day, Pop the super under the brood chamber, no queen excluder. Bees will be at the top where it's warmer. They can get to their stores as they want and you'll be able to see them when you dribble Oxalic Acid on them in December/January as they will surely need some varroa treatment (sorry - hive cleansing). In the Spring, remove the super which will probably have little stores. Once the colony has built up, the super can go back on over the queen excluder.

Slap your buttocks with a birch twig that you forgot to treat!
 

oliver90owner 

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Dishcloth,

Read it carefully, you might learn something -or there again, maybe not.

The whole was directed to those who might think while beekeeping and perhaps to try to make those that don't, change their insight of beekeeping.

With regards the original post, if they have more than enough stores that will not be an issue in itself for the bees. Too little stores is where the problem lies. That is why so many feral colonies which have reproduced, initially apparently with success, fail in the first year - usually by starvation (think about it?)

I am very sorry if the rest of my post was alien to you.

RAB
 

Vergilius 

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Dishmop,


What I think RAB is saying is that, in the modern world, us beekeepers should think more about the conservation of our bees rather than trying to scrape every little scrap of profit we can get out of them.
In the old days when hives were made from straw beekeepers used to destroy the colonies that they intended to exploit for honey (whilst keeping some for breeding). However now, obviously, this is not necessary as we have frame hives. But still, as a race, we harm bees by forcing them to pollinate large swathes of monoculture covered in pesticides for large cheques. Us beekeepers say that we are the bee's saviours but some, unfortunately, think more about the money than the bees.


Ben P
 

hornett 

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I have heard about putting the super under the brood box, I have a double brood the a good laying queen i extracted leaving one super on then gave them the wet super which they filled back up, the question is would you advise putting the two supers under the brood boxes
 

jezd 

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I don't think you can use honey from one hive to feed others - due to spread of disease? If it was mine, I would take off the QE and let them have it...and then if it is still full in Spring extract then.
you make it sound like a rule, its not.

its simply best practice not to feed back honey from another hive, more importantly it relates to honey from a third party that you know nothing about.

JD
 

oliver90owner 

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Thanks Ben.

You will progress as a good beekeeper, I think.

Thinking about our actions, both present and past, is important. Thinking about all the possible courses of action possible before 'diving in' is a prudent requirement to reducing, as far as possible, elementary mistakes early on, and when they become the 'norm', the more difficult decisions that need be made can be actioned with confidence. It's all about looking at the whole picture, not just the signs which have suddenly appeared. The wood and trees and all that.

Regards, RAB
 

oliver90owner 

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Hornett,

A double brood should contain enough stores for the winter. The colony will diminish in size as the autumn progresses - all the old foragers will eventually be lost and the space should contain enough stores for the winter. I would not normally leave a super on a colony with a double brood box already. I don't normally leave a super on a 14 x 12 as there is plenty of space for stores in the brood box - such that I rarely need to feed before perhaps, as a starter, to help accelerate spring build-up. With an early start and a single brood, spring starvation is always a possibility if heavy brooding coincides with a lengthy cold spell at that time of the year.

40kg is the usual target for stores. Perhaps a quick check on a warm day would reveal if they have too little, sufficient, or a likely surplus. The surplus is not detrimental to the bees as long as the frames are full and sealed, the only rare problem is that the bees do not transfer upwards from a lower box because of the bee space between the tiers.

Not really anything one can do about that if it were to happen. I've never seen it with my few hives over a ten year period. If it happens to someone with 100 or more colonies, for instance, they would likely accept it as an unfortunate loss but nothing to worry about. Not all colonies survive each winter; in fact, naturally, all colonies die eventually - just a fact of life and death.

As bees naturally have stores above the brood nest, without exception in vertical nests (obviously not so in a shallow horizontal cavity), I always leave their stores above. Some move them below to avoid her majesty laying in the super in early spring; I accept it if that happens (she lays upstairs), and rectify the very minor problem with a queen excluder and a three week wait, come the spring. So your choice really. What you don't want in the spring is wild comb being built into an empty super below, which would not be the case for you as your frames will be drawn comb. I remove empty frames for storage elsewhere, where I can fumigate to protect the comb from wax moth damage.

Regards, RAB
 
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What I think RAB is saying is that, in the modern world, us beekeepers should think more about the conservation of our bees rather than trying to scrape every little scrap of profit we can get out of them.
Still nothing to do with the post I made tho.....

Seems logical to me that a family with no food wont produce more young than they can feed, therefore the opposite also seems logical..
 
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Skyhook 

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Dishmop,

What I think RAB is saying is that, in the modern world, us beekeepers should think more about the conservation of our bees rather than trying to sc'canola' (osr) every little scrap of profit we can get out of them.
In the old days when hives were made from straw beekeepers used to destroy the colonies that they intended to exploit for honey (whilst keeping some for breeding). However now, obviously, this is not necessary as we have frame hives. But still, as a race, we harm bees by forcing them to pollinate large swathes of monoculture covered in pesticides for large cheques. Us beekeepers say that we are the bee's saviours but some, unfortunately, think more about the money than the bees.

Ben P
I've got into bees because I find both them and their care fascinating: but I dont think that goes against making a profit from them. I'm hoping to arrive at a position of mutual benefit where I get the pleasure of caring for them and, yes, a profit; and in return they get protection from hungry periods, disease and woodpeckers.

Anyway, thats the plan.:eek:
 
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you make it sound like a rule, its not.

its simply best practice not to feed back honey from another hive, more importantly it relates to honey from a third party that you know nothing about.

JD
Sorry - can't see how that 'question' can be a rule...if it is a question mark it is a query not a statement of fact. The question mark would then have been inappropriate. I was simply stating a piece of knowledge I had read and hoping a more experienced keeper would place a useful follow up comment.
 

drstitson 

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stores? - RAB

"40kg is the usual target for stores"

I'm open to correction but I thought it was 40-44 POUNDS???

40kg is 3.9 full supers.
 

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