Wrapping Beehives for Winter

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hemo 

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One reason for the argument why those who move it down do not leave it above the BB, for the sake that the Q might lay up a little brood early spring in the super matters not. Logic isn't used and some seem determined to make life harder for their bees, fiddling and going against the nature of the bees.
 
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krennie 

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Thankyou - The stores are now good and the super is now empty. Because of my back injury, I cannot now remove the super. I was planning to feed some fondant come January if they need it?
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Thankyou - The stores are now good and the super is now empty. Because of my back injury, I cannot now remove the super. I was planning to feed some fondant come January if they need it?
Don't worry about the empty shallow being under for the whole winter - it won't affect the bees one way or the other, in fact, if you have OMF it will act as an extra wind buffer for the hive.
 

madasafish 

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Thankyou - The stores are now good and the super is now empty. Because of my back injury, I cannot now remove the super. I was planning to feed some fondant come January if they need it?

I have run super under the brood box since 2016. Never had a problem of Q laying in there.
 

Polymorph 

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Last year I ran into the problem of too much honey in the 14x12 broodnest remaining in spring. Wasn't quick enough off the mark and they swarmed mid april in the cold weather. I have near native, so a well stocked 14x12 brood shouldn't need additional feeding with fondant (certainly not in my location in the south west). They also were fine with ivy honey despite some views to the contrary.
I've used hay cut off the meadow where they are sited for top insulation this year. Found polystyrene was crumbling and haven't seen the right skip recently fro kingspan. Should be good smoker fuel when finished with it.
Just need to do entrances and then leave them to it.
 

Moobee 

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Beekeepers put a super of stores under the brood box (no queen excluder) to ensure that there is enough food in the hive for winter; The bees are in the top part of the hive where it's warmer and without an excluder, they have free access to the stores. If a super is above the brood box (without an excluder), there's a good chance that the queen will be laying in the super come spring. If the super is above the brood box with an excluder, the concern is that the bees will move into the super and leave the queen below, with disasterous consequences.
Generally the nadired super is empty by spring, when it can be removed. It would also help reduce drafts around the nether regions if an open mesh floor is used all winter. If you have a 14 x 12 or commercial brood box, there'll be enough stores for winter if full, so a nadired super isn't required.

A National brood box should be big enough to furnish the colony with stores for winter in most cases. However if a single brood box is over-filled in september, either by good forage or a lot of syrup, the space for the queen to lay will be reduced, when you want winter bees to be produced. Under-filled, and the bees might starve or you are faffing about with fondant in February and March. A super of food in addition to what's in the brood box ensures there's enough stores without having to worry.
(Some bees keep a large brood-nest over winter and could run out of food in a single brood box).
From my experience, a slab of insulation on top of the colony reduces winter fuel consumption. Even an empty super filled with scrunched newspaper will be significant.
I hate drafts round my nether regions :laughing-smiley-014
 

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