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Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by adamant, Nov 18, 2012.
what do i do with the empty space? add frames?
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I would, some with honey if you have any but defiantly ones that are drawn. When I use frame feeders I leave them in all winter empty so they are in place and ready for feeding in the spring.I take them out when the queen needs more brood space and add frames in the middle of the cluster for the queen to lay in.
Depending on what you have available. I'd add a few of frames of honey or drawn comb (split on either side of existing frames), or add a follower board (dummy board/spacer board), or reinstall the feeder. ApisBees suggestion is my preference when using frame feeders, as it leads into the first part of buildup and swarm prevention in spring.
You don't want to leave that space open or come spring you'll have a real mess on your hands.
A filler sheet of 1" foam board either side and center the existing frames; candy frames might be better than drawn foundation also.
gosh a frame feeder would fit in there just about right and would also act as a double layered follower board! :wink:
I only have one in, figure I'll leave it. But a warning: mortuary bees find empty frame feeders very attractive if for some reason they can't go outside. Doesn't mean all the dead bees drowned.
I have never seen that here Gypsi..... for me dead bees in frame feeder that never get completely cleaned out is a sign that you likely have a bit of nosema C. in a hive. I recently noticed that Randy Oliver suggest that if you add pollen patties in the spring time that don't get totally cleaned up that this might point to the same problem.
I can't rule out Nosema on my friend's hive last year, he had a mann lake top feeder full of bee bodies, a couple of inches deep, and 4 frames of bees that he hadn't fed. (He put the feeder on but didn't fill it.) They all died in a spring frost anyway.
But when I had a frame feeder in a hive with a couple of merged swarms under attack this fall, I had added a robber guard, and the mortuary bees couldn't get out with the bodies for a few days, so they piled them in the frame feeder. (I watched one make the trek and add her bee to the soup...thus discovering that perhaps the bees did not drown.) My deduction came from that. I've since merged the swarm with a larger hive.
A question about winter stores for a seven frame hive...
Seeing the picture of those seven frames reminds me that I have just moved a NUC into an 8 frame box and still have syrup available to them (they took 2 quarts last week).
How much honey will they need in a zone 8 North Texas winter -its my first winter here? It has three (deep) frames of honey, two partial frames of pollen, some brood space and a couple frames of foundation. I've kept some deep frames of honey in reserve for late winter or spring if needed.
Thanks for posting Adamant
I keep hoping that J or Tec will answer this, because it is my first winter to have bees still alive (mine got robbed out and killed last year). I got all of my hives up to 2 boxes, the top one and about half the bottom one being honey or stored sugar water since I was feeding. But I know people whose bees starved out last winter because it was a warm winter. I'll be checking on mine, rather than assuming they are ok. That I know.