Where do we go now?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by me2pl, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. me2pl

    me2pl New Member

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    my dad and I are very new beekeepers, having a feral (but friendly) hive since this spring. it has a small super on it, and they have REALLY filled that sucker up. it's a strong hive, and we were wondering if we should add a super to the brooding section, and how much honey can we take before winter?
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    you need to provide some description of the total size of the hive + your expected season. Chico is in the northern part of California so I would assume you would need to leave some winter stores. generally you just add a box to the top of the stack. if you still see blooms about then yes I definitely think you need to add another box.

    how much to leave is somewhat to highly variable. the documented studies suggest you need to leave about 22 kg (44 pounds or so) for a hive to make the winter. a lot of folks will tell you 60 pounds. some places in California that I have visited you may be able to take everything since the blooming never stops.
     

  3. me2pl

    me2pl New Member

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    Our hive is tiny, just a brooder and a 6 and 5/8 in. super. BTW: thanks for responding!
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I will assume from your above description you have one deep (9 & 5/8") and one medium depth box (6 & 5/8") which when full is a pretty good overwintering size for anyone in the southern US. Above these two boxes generally is what is considered to be surplus (ie acceptable for the beekeeper to take). Some bee keepers may leave an extra box and feed nothing and some will take all the excess and plan to feed when the time comes. When you do decide to remove some honey do make certain there is something in the lower boxes <you can look of course although I can generally tell by simply tipping one end of the bee hive or the other. the larger idea here being you don't want to remove feed stores from the top of the stack when there is nothing below for the hive live on.

    good luck...
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    ""and how much honey can we take before winter?""

    All but 50 lb.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Where in Cal is Chico? Check with local beekeepers as to what they generally do in your area. In Israel, with a Mediterranean climate (like California), most hives overwinter on a brood box only--provided that it has about 20 kg of honey reserves. But a lot depends on how cold it gets where you are and when the new season's flowering starts. If the temp allows bees to forage throughout the winter, you can get by on even less.
    Bottom line--there isn't one answer. Local conditions determine how much honey you need to leave on the hive. ;)
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Chico is in the Sacramento valley, just outside Willows, where I used to visit. 50 lb. of honey will suffice for the winter.