Hive setup/wintering

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bsweet, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Ok folks, I'll try it here, posting on Bee Source got two replys one of which was also a new beek seeking the same information. What is your hive setup for over wintering based on your location/weather? 1 deep, 2 deeps,multiple mediums and do you still spring feed due to lack of stores? Also are you a Hobbie/sideliner/comm. keeper? Thanks Jim
     
  2. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I'm a newbee too, but I'll give my 2 cents. In southern PA (and many other places as I understand) the standard is 2 deeps. 3 mediums is practically the same amount of space, but I do wonder if the extra break in the brood area could be significant. I plan on experimenting with both configurations. If those boxes are well stocked, that should be enough to get them through. Nobody around here, nor in the northern vicinity, bothers with insulating hives. However, it is important to make sure there is adequate ventilation, i.e. an upper entrance, to avoid condensation and moisture within the hive.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Hobbyist, who may have any configuration going into winter.I go by weight more than anything else. In NC, they need 30 to 60 lbs. to make it. I try for 40 plus, or combine. I find combining in the fall and splitting in the spring gives better results than trying to winter 2 weak hives.

    PS. I refer to the other forum by it's initials. BS... :wave:
     
  4. hardwood

    hardwood New Member

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    I'm a sideliner and winter my bees in whatever they are in in the fall. I'm in FL so most winters are not a problem. I may have to feed during a winter dearth, but don't have to "winterize".

    Scott
     
  5. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Iddee I agree with BS, its a good read but trying to get information can be rough. Beeks here seem more willing to share info. Jim
     
  6. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    hey neighbor our climates are about the same you are just a tad bit warmer than we are. Im only 8 miles from being an okie. Im a sideliner/hobby keep depend on who you ask. I run 50 hives I run them all in double deeps I feed any hives in the fall that are light I like for them to go into winter weighing about 125 lbs. Its usually late february early march you got to watch .They will stay heavy in the winter but when the queen kicks in and starts laying when it warms up they will blow thru the stores in a hurry. I like to feed in early march to give the hives a boost and get them build up for the spring flow.
     
  7. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

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    It will vary quite a bit depending on what bees you have and your winter. Here in CA one full deep of stores is usually more than enough. Warmer weather can make them go through more stores. I feed light syrup pretty much all winter to get them brooded up and they burn through lots of honey because what I feed is just enough to jump start them and they need the stores to feed the new brood.
     
  8. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Thanks for the replys everyone present and future, The reason I ask is,I run double deeps but have read that some run single deeps with a capped honey super (med.)in the winter and was wondering. I know a single deep hive body takes more care in the spring/summer but it would give the crowded/strong hive to fight SHB.Moth & V. Mite, also read of one Beek that harvests 100-180 lbs. from his single deep hives that he starts each spring with a 3 lb. package then shakes and sells his bees in the fall. Just trying to sort it all out and decide if I want to try something or not ie; single deeps split when needed and wintered. Jim
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I am a sidline + queen breeder.

    Here the idea configuration is story and a half with stores of at least 40 pounds. I also have overwintered during the past few winters in 5 frame nucs (mediums and deeps) and baby nucs. feeding of the smaller units is generally required all winter (the up take up of these smaller units is very slow). I feed the larger units in the spring time for a number of reasons... 1) lack of stores and 2)stimulation purpose for early queen and nuc rearing. warmer weather here has the same effect as cow pollinator pointed out.
     
  10. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

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    We are a hobbyist beekeeping family of 5. We set up for overwintering by weight, like idee. We usually try to make sure they have a super of honey or fondant.
    Depending on what condition they are in come spring, we usually will feed sugar syrup until the honey flow starts.
    As far as deeps and mediums go, it just depends on what they are already in during fall.
     
  11. rast

    rast New Member

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    A sometimes forgotten part of feeding and bee survival is pollen stores.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    good point rast and a condition that will vary greatly from place to place and from hive to hive.

    feed can pretty much be ascertained by hefting for weight... in the case of pollen stores you have to go look see.

    pollen stores in the late summer/early fall here is usually not an issue.... actually excessive pollen stores can present it's own set of problem. It does here... once about now and again in the early spring.
     
  13. rast

    rast New Member

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    Tec-"a condition that will vary greatly from place to place and from hive to hive."

    I should have added "and it's nutritional value". Once again its location sensitive as Tec said. In my back field my nucs have brought in a ton of Bahia pollen because it's all that's really been available and close for 2 months now. The nutritional value of bahia is very poor so I have supplemented with patties. I have already had to add a second brood box to several, and this during a dearth.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    another excellent point rast. keep this up and you can have my esteemed seat... heh, heh.

    perhaps someone should point the new beekeepers to 'Fat Bee-Skinny Bee' (an Aussie Publication) to give them some insight into the great variation in the food value of various pollens. If memory serves correctly bahia pollen and pine tree pollen are about equivalent.... which is about like feeding a new born baby wood chips.
     
  15. rast

    rast New Member

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    Tec-"another excellent point rast. keep this up and you can have my esteemed seat... heh, heh."

    No way, shape or form will I ever qualify! Or want it!