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steve_e 

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I've been a bit chaotic this summer (my first full season) due to various family commitments, and so I'm only just getting round to taking honey off over the next couple of days and rather panicking about the order I should do things in. Also I was intending to leave a super with a few frames on each of my four hives for the bees to consume over winter (although I've read here recently that this is a controversial thing to do and all their winter feed should really come from sugar syrup).

So I have a couple of questions I'd love to get answers to:

1 I'm treating them with Api-life when I take the honey off. Should I take off the honey I'm intending to leave them with in the second super while I do this and then replace it after treating, or leave it on since I'm not intending it for human consumption. And if I leave it on will the varroa treatment taint the frames and comb if I use them in the future for human consumption honey.

2 If I should take all supers off and leave them with a single national brood chamber, does that leave them with enough stores in the brood chamber (along with what's left from forage over the next few weeks)? Or should I feed them directly over the brood chamber while the treatment is happening?

I know I'm a bit late with it - I've already apologised to the bees for this. Not a very organised beekeeper I'm afraid...
 
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Hi Steve

Fellow Inexperienced Beek (FIB? seems apt), but my understanding is that:

As long as they have sufficient stores in the brood box then you can take off all the supers. You'll have to be the judge as to whether they have enough though.

If they are short of stores in the BB you can either feed them or leave your second super on (which is what I'm doing with one of mine). I've seen mention that it may contaminate the comb for next years crop though, so you may want to replace it early spring.

Feeding isnt recommended during treatment, only because they may not take it - but its better than starving!
 

steve_e 

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Hi Monsieur (How formal does that sound...) -
Thanks for the reply. I guess it's kind of 'suck it and see' then with regard to the stores and feeding decisions. I'll have to get more expert at hefting.

One reason I didn't particularly want to put a feeder (and obviously a spacer to accommodate it) is that last year I put apiguard in with an eke to provide room, and when I came back (only ten days or so later) they'd more or less filled up the entire eke with wild comb and honey. I was horrified at the mess when I tried to take off the crown board and ended up leaving eke, comb and all there until next spring in the hope that they'd consume it all and I'd only have to clean up the wax.

No straightforward answers with this beekeeping lark are there?
 

Arfermo 

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Steve-e,
I would suggest that you put a super you don't want to extract for honey underneath your single National B/B as they will then possibly have enough stores for a large proportion of the winter as well as space for when they want to expand in the spring.
As for Api-Lifevar, according to FERA, it's effective at higher ambient temperatures than Apiguard and where I am the ambient temperatures during the day and the night over the last week or more have been poor. For that reason, and since there is not much to choose between them, I have stuck with Apiguard. It's all a matter of judgement. It has been warmer over the last 2 days and they are going potty on balsam but I am letting mine build up their stores with it as I have averaged over 130 lbs of honey this season (with some still to be extracted) so they deserve the benefit of it.

Don't forget oxalic acid around Xmas.
 

steve_e 

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Thanks Arfermo -
That's interesting about the effectiveness at lower temperatures, I hadn't heard that before.

I'm not sure I want to commit to a brood and a half system yet (which I guess would be the result of giving them a queen accessible super?), but it sounds like a good solution if that's the way I decide to go.

Regards, Steve.
 

MuswellMetro 

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Thanks Arfermo -
That's interesting about the effectiveness at lower temperatures, I hadn't heard that before.

I'm not sure I want to commit to a brood and a half system yet (which I guess would be the result of giving them a queen accessible super?), but it sounds like a good solution if that's the way I decide to go.

Regards, Steve.
How much store have you in the brood, you do not say, therefore we cannot answeer fully your question perhaps re post when you inspect just look at the outer frames each side of the brood nest

Are they established hives or Nuc into hives this summer the answer i would give depends on their history

so assuming BS national brood, then you would expect the two outer frames to be full of capped honey to be sufficient unless really inclemant weather sets in

i am feeding my established 14x12 's as they have about one full frames of capped honey (the two outer frames have 4 sides x quarter capped= 1frame) but my 1st june NUC into a 14x12 has 4 full capped 14x12 frames so not feeding
 
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