How much honey do they need to winter

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by honeybear, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. honeybear

    honeybear New Member

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    How much honey do my bees need to get through the winter?
    Does the honey in the brood chamber contribute to winter stores or
    will they continue to lay eggs and use this deep?

    Thanks
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You will need 30 to 60 lb. to winter in Va., depending on the severity of the winter and the population of the hive. 60 lb. total in all boxes. Va. has enough warm days in winter for them to move it around to where they want it.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    from what I have read it appears that it takes very little honey to maintain a hive thru the cold winter months. when brood rearing begins in the late winter/early spring these requirements increase dramatically. this is the reason why a lot of hives will starve in the early spring.

    iddee numbers sounds about right to me.
     
  4. busybee

    busybee New Member

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    I'm a first year beekeeper so I don't know much as experience goes. That will take time but I don't understand how bees can starve. Aren't there some sunny days almost anywhere where you could check in to see late winter say if they still have honey? If you tried to lift it to see how heavy it was. Even if you put the top feeder on and filled it so you were sure. I plan on getting some MegaBee to give my two hives also. When would I want to put that in?
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    busybee writes:
    That will take time but I don't understand how bees can starve.

    tecumseh:
    at one time (a long long time ago) I had exactly the same thoughts.... then I became a bit more experienced as to how the world works. I suspect the observation made by one of my commercial mentors (also a long time ago) is as true now as it was years ago... that on any given year 1/3 to 1/2 of all hive will starve during the winter or early sping. almost any kind or type of feeding program will/can positively impact these numbers.

    ps... any pollen/pollen substitute material I would introduce to the hive as soon as the shb (seasonally) becomes less of a problem. current research suggest early winter/late fall is the best time to use these kinds of product.
     
  6. honeybear

    honeybear New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I think that they are okay. The deep brood box has a lot of honey
    and medium supers above are almost full.
     
  7. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Yeah you should be just fine with that. I was going to add that if you're up in the mountains in VA, you might want to double Iddee's numbers as you might be much colder much longer than down in the valleys, but it sounds like you've already got much more than suggested anyway.
     
  8. alleyyooper

    alleyyooper New Member

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    A friend of mine who has been keeping bees much longer than I made the statement one day that todays bees are stupid compaired to those 20 years ago.
    20 Years ago he said they would move honey around to where they needed it on nice warm days. Today the queens lays in the bottom box it turns cold and the bees cluster over the brood and starve to death with a full deep above because they won't leave the brood.

    I have had that happen more than once. Give me a nice even 30F or colder winter and our bees do just fine.

    :D Al
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    25 years ago, our bees had no tracheal mites, varroa mites, SHB, or CCD. I would think they likely do act a bit differently today.
     
  10. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Good Morning guys - :wave:
    I still have honey supers on my hives and when I checked them last time, they still had lots of honey - both of my brood boxes have honey - so should I take the honey from the supers or leave them on during the winter?
    I have:
    One hive that has a deep and 3 supers- (I didn't have anymore deeps at the time)
    One hive has 2 deeps and 2 supers
    One hive has 2 deeps and 1 super (2 of these)
    One hive just has a deep & a feeder (small swarm I caught earlier in the summer)
    One hive has a deep & 1 super

    I don't want to take a chance of any of my hives starving and I do have top feeders for them to use later on. This is always such a dilema for me.

    We have been having cool days (60s - 70s) and nights in the 40s but we usually have some warm days left in October & November scattered in there.

    Thanks for your great advise!
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The number of boxes mean very little. How much is in them means everything. In Arkansas, You need to leave 50 to 60 lbs. of honey in each hive.
    A super frame, fully capped, has approx. 3 lb. of honey.
    A deep frame, fully capped has approx. 5.5.
     
  12. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    Does it "hurt" to leave supers on going into winter? I have a super on all my hives and one hive I have two supers. Will the bees eat the honey from the supers first or will they eat the honey from the hive first and then move the honey down from the supers??? :confused:
     
  13. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I'd like to know the answer to this question as well. :|
     
  14. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If the supers are full, it won't hurt anything to leave them on. If they are empty, open space above the bees is not good.

    The bees will cluster at the bottom of the stores and work their way up as they eat.