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Heather 

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As we are approaching feeding time - advice please.
I have a large colony on 14x12 and a super as brood, then with 2 honey supers above. Already extracted 6 supers from them and exchanged the 2 supers for room, which they really seem to need. These are fairly full of stores. I will be feeding +- but should I leave both supers on for winter or is that too much space and therefore colder for them
 

Finman 

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and a super as brood,
The winter cluster will be the same size as brood area. With this knowledge you need one box for winter.

If it is not enough when you give winter feeding and a huge beard is hanging outside the hive, then add another box under and feed 50% more´.
 

oliver90owner 

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Heather,

I over-winter on a single 14 x 12 usually, with OMF below and no top ventilation (but with a sheet of insulation over the crownboard).

Your 14 x 12 is equivalent to a brood and a half on a standard National. What do you leave on your standard broods? When I wrote 'usually' above - I do sometimes leave a super on, but not as a rule. If your colony is that big now, it will contract somewhat before the end of the season.

Seems as though they may not need much feeding, if you are lucky!

Regards, RAB
 

Heather 

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Cheers Finman. Will try to take one off...
Oliver I have brood in the 14x12 and the super as they needed the space this year. Never swarmed and no queen cell made- just honey:party:
Just wondering if I should put a QE above the 14x12 if she below again to reduce area size- but it is a big old colony...:drool5:

I vary - standard brood with biig colony-1 super, but usually nothing above brood- just OMF, crown board and insulation.
 

Finman 

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I have big colonies. They are often 8 boxes and allways they need only to 1-2 deep for winter. Often they need only one deep even if they had 10 boxes in summer.

It depends how much they make brood in August.

If they have too much bees, I may take a couple of brood frame and give to the small hive.

Size has nothing to do with old. All bees which are living now, will be dead in Ochtober.
 

Heather 

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Thats a thought Finman. I DID recover the colony from in a tree that was condemned- it could do with a bee boost- will icing sugar shake.

And from the tree- I have NEVER seen so many moths- poor bees were on a loser there. It can only get better for them
 

Adam 

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As we are approaching feeding time - advice please.
I have a large colony on 14x12 and a super as brood, then with 2 honey supers above. Already extracted 6 supers from them and exchanged the 2 supers for room, which they really seem to need. These are fairly full of stores. I will be feeding +- but should I leave both supers on for winter or is that too much space and therefore colder for them
I'd pull them down to just the 14 x 12 brood chamber. You'd be amazed how a colony can compress back in, even when they've been occupying 5 supers above, in what appears to be large numbers. In about 2 weeks from now, I find the numbers are drastically reduced anyhow.

Regards,

Adam
 

gavin 

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Both.

In heather areas they will still be raising brood into September. Young queens and native honeybees helps, and the idea is that if they continue to raise brood the honey stays out of the brood nest and you can top them up with syrup later if they need it.

Last year the poor summer seemed to hold back winter bee production. Colonies not at the heather used feed and later a little bit of ivy to keep brood raising going.

Gavin
 

Finman 

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I have had many races and stocks and system is the same. Autumn is coming.
If the stock does not act in local way, it will die.

Those bees which nurse larvae, will not survive to the winter.
Pollen and nectar short tells to bees that stop brooding. If the hives does not react, it will die.

You have that ivy.

Beekeeper must prepare hives according to worst situation. No on knows what weather is next week.
Bees' brooding system affects over 3 weeks.
 
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