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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I would like to have some advises on when it is 'the ideal' time to feed a hive for overwintering with regard to its state.
I mean, is it OK to feed even if there is brood or wait until there is no brood? If I wait, the bees will be able to place to syrup in the liberated cells, else, there will be less place to store it.
But if I wait, it is becoming colder here (we already have days with less than 55°f)
What do you think?

Thanks
 

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It is time for you to feed if the stores in the hive weigh less than 35 KG in Canada. Even if it is still summer, just as long as it is after you harvest. You don't want to harvest sugar honey. Feed 1 to 1 for brood rearing. 2 to 1 for winter food storage.
 

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What is your hive configuration and how much honey are you leaving? Do you have a flow on now?
Here in Michigan the goldenrod are blooming and I don't think my bees would take sugar syrup.
 

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gosh... can' believe my eyes.... Iddee has now switch to the metric system... kind of frenchy of him, now ain't it?

Canada and Texas I suspect are much different in many ways <likely the understatement of the century. Here we have a long summer and it is quite common for us to have a long spell of hot weather with nothing coming in for much of the hottest months and the brood patch dwindles almost to nothing by late fall. consequently a hive can consume a lot of stores without anything coming in and it can go into what is a very short winter time period with very few young bees in the hive Therefore often times I feed to add weight and at other times I feed to encourage a bit of brood building as at least a partial remedy to this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What is your hive configuration and how much honey are you leaving? Do you have a flow on now?
Here in Michigan the goldenrod are blooming and I don't think my bees would take sugar syrup.
I think there is still a flow as all is almost green and I can still see flowers ;-)
As of the hives, they are on deep hive bodies and one of them is not fully covered.
Four of five contain approximately 10 à 13.5kgs (22 to 30lbs) of caped honey.

Is it correct if I feed them a little bit with 1:1 (around 3.8L (1 gallon) per colony) to stimulate them further and then, 1 to 2 weeks later, supply them with 2:1?

Thanks all
 

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If you have 80 to 100 lbs. of capped honey now, I would leave them as is and check again in Feb or Mar. when brood rearing begins again.
 

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Are you on the west side of quebec? Is each hive 2 deep boxes or 1 deep? Are you calculating the honey weight or actually weighing frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Are you on the west side of quebec? Is each hive 2 deep boxes or 1 deep? Are you calculating the honey weight or actually weighing frames.
I'm in the east of Quebec (Rimouski). The hives are 1 deep boxes.
The honey weight (an approximated estimation).
 

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I dont have experience with one deep, but I think some of the suggestions for stores were assuming 2 deeps. With one deep you will have a smaller cluster and need less stores but basically they will need about as much as they can pack into one box. If you plan on more flow and it doesnt happen it can get too cold later for them to take syrup. Better safe than sorry. Maybe someone who has wintered with one deep in colder weather would have a better idea.
 

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""Four of five contain approximately 10 à 13.5kgs (22 to 30lbs) of caped honey.""

I was understanding each hive had 5 deeps. Disregard my above post. You need to feed all the 2 to 1 you can get them to eat and build out a second deep, at the least.
 

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Feed them as much as you possibly can between now and the first hard frost. Our winters in the west are fairly similar to yours and we winter with 2 deeps filled with about 80 LBS of honey. I don't think you have nearly enough stores yet. They are not very likely to draw more comb this time of year, so you're kind of stuck with what you have. I'm not saying your bees won't make it with what they have, but you have to start feeding them again as early as March because they will be running out. You might also consider wintering your hives stacked 2 deep with a screened inner cover between the two. That way the top hive gets a little heat from the bottom.
 

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My suggestion is:
Feed 1 to 1 syrup to all you hives. Replace the frames of capped stores, with empty frames. This hopefully will make the bees draw new comb. Comb building requires warmth and an empty hive body requires a lot more than one empty frame. When you accumulate 8 frames of stores, use them for a second deep on one of your hives and continue.
You might even insulate the hives now. Cover three sides and the top with foamboard, twine to hold the sides on and a rock on top. When the syrup temperature gets cold, the bees will not use it.
​If you could buy / borrow some extracted frames, you could feed 2 to 1 and be in good shape for the winter.

I would be thinking about stacking hives, candy board and maybe combining some of your hives.
 

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. Our winters in the west are fairly similar to yours and we winter with 2 deeps filled with about 80 LBS of honey
Does that amount to a weight of about 150 lbs. total for hive bottom, two deeps, plus inner and telescopic cover? I have heard that referred to as weighing 70 lbs per hive components and bees.
 

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i've never weighed a hive, so I have no idea. I estimate based on the fact that a deep frame contains around 6 LBS of honey. I look for at least 10 full honey frames and several partial ones in the brood area. At the beginning of October I add up what's in the hive and if it's not quite enough I feed untill there is. Around here the bees keep bringing in a small surplus until about the end of September, otherwise I'd feed sooner.
 

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I regularly over winter in one deep it depends on the hive and the # of bees in the hive. Feed them 2 to 1 until the weather gets cold enough so they quit talking the syrup this will allow the bees to survive the fall on syrup saving the honey and stored syrup to over winter on. The first warm day in January do the heft test and it the colonies seem light make fondant candy to get the bees thru till the warmer weather when they will take syrup again. Insulate under the bottom board and over the inner cover with Styrofoam insulation to keep the bees warmer and dryer.

In the middle of October any Dbl hive that has a smaller population that will fit in a single box at that time will get rearranged into a single box for over wintering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I started feeding them with 1:1 syrup since 04-09-2013.

Last year, I overwintered my first hive in one deep and all was ok. I insulated the hive using 2inch styrofoam. This year, I'm planning to test insulating with styrofoam+bubble foil aluminum insulation film.
 

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My hives seem light and not very busy, so I figured they weren't foraging and tried to feed them today. They didn't touch the syrup. When I fed them during the August dearth, they went wild for it.
 
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