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Re: [beekeeping] dilema

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  • Mike Stoops
    M Nist wrote: I would take off the queen excluder and let them have the super for overwintering. From.what
    Message 1 of 5 , Oct 4, 2006
      M Nist <mnist@...> wrote:
      I would take off the queen excluder and let them have the super for
      overwintering.

      From.what I understand, the bees cluster around the queen so if she can't go
      up for the honey stores in the super, neither will the workers.
      Do not leave the queen excluder on if you have honey stores above the excluder.  The bees will leave the queen to get to the food stores and if the queen can't get through the excluder, you know what hppens to her.  She freezes.  Do not make it possible for the cluster to leave the queen behind because of a queen excluder.

      If you leave the super on and treat the hive, you run the risk of contaminating that honey.  Best thing to do is put the super above the inner cover, reduce the inner cover's hole size and let the hive rob the super honey back down into the hive body.  Once that is done you can treat the hive with chems.  But get the super robbed out at once if that is what you are going to do.  Then freeze the frames or treat for wax moth and hive beetle before storage.  If you want to take it off for use next spring, freeze all the frames to kill all the nasty critters and their eggs that might be in it.  A good three days in the freezer will generally do the job.  Then double bag the super with the honey frames and store it out of the reach of mice and rats.  It'll be ready to go in the spring when/if you need it.

      Mike in LA  (Lower Alabama)  Used to have bees in central Indiana


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    • axeman axeman
      Thanks Mike. You mentioned something that I didn t know and I want to make sure I understand completely. You said that by placing the super of uncapped honey
      Message 2 of 5 , Oct 5, 2006
        Thanks Mike.
        You mentioned something that I didn't know and I want
        to make sure I understand completely.
        You said that by placing the super of uncapped honey
        on top of the inner cover that the bees will rob that
        super and stop filling/curing/capping it?

        Honestly, I'm not sure what to do. Last year there was
        so few filled cells that I just took the super off
        stuck it in the attic and added the hivetop feeder. I
        have this worry that the queen will lay in the honey
        super or that I won't be able to get them out of there
        in the spring and back into their deeps.

        Thoughts??....


        Thanks.
        Alan. NY.



        --- Mike Stoops <mws1112004@...> wrote:

        > M Nist <mnist@...> wrote:
        > I would take off the queen excluder
        > and let them have the super for
        > overwintering.
        >
        > From.what I understand, the bees cluster around the
        > queen so if she can't go
        > up for the honey stores in the super, neither will
        > the workers.
        >
        > Do not leave the queen excluder on if you have honey
        > stores above the excluder. The bees will leave the
        > queen to get to the food stores and if the queen
        > can't get through the excluder, you know what hppens
        > to her. She freezes. Do not make it possible for
        > the cluster to leave the queen behind because of a
        > queen excluder.
        >
        >
        > If you leave the super on and treat the hive, you
        > run the risk of contaminating that honey. Best
        > thing to do is put the super above the inner cover,
        > reduce the inner cover's hole size and let the hive
        > rob the super honey back down into the hive body.
        > Once that is done you can treat the hive with chems.
        > But get the super robbed out at once if that is
        > what you are going to do. Then freeze the frames or
        > treat for wax moth and hive beetle before storage.
        > If you want to take it off for use next spring,
        > freeze all the frames to kill all the nasty critters
        > and their eggs that might be in it. A good three
        > days in the freezer will generally do the job. Then
        > double bag the super with the honey frames and store
        > it out of the reach of mice and rats. It'll be
        > ready to go in the spring when/if you need it.
        >
        >
        > Mike in LA (Lower Alabama) Used to have bees in
        > central Indiana
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > How low will we go? Check out Yahoo! Messenger’s low
        > PC-to-Phone call rates.


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      • Mike Stoops
        axeman axeman wrote: You said that by placing the super of uncapped honey on top of the inner cover
        Message 3 of 5 , Oct 5, 2006
          axeman axeman <axeman_002000@...> wrote:
          You said that by placing the super of uncapped honey
          on top of the inner cover that the bees will rob that
          super and stop filling/curing/ capping it?
          In addition to doing that, reduce the size of the hole in the middle of the inner cover with a thin piece of wood.  The bees think the honey is in a location other than their hive and will rob it out and move it down into their brood chamber plus whatever other equipment you have under the inner cover.
          I have this worry that the queen will lay in the honey
          super or that I won't be able to get them out of there
          in the spring and back into their deeps.

          Thoughts??.. ..

          Being in the state of New York I would advise wintering over your colony(ies) in two brood chambers.  It is a lot better to have the queen move up and lay in a honey super than to have the cluster move up through the queen excluder and leave the queen behind to freeze.  I have had queens lay in the honey super.  When that happens and I really do want her down below, I move her down, put a queen excluder in place, then let the brood in the honey super hatch out and be replaced with honey.

          When I lived north of Indianapolis I overwintered my bees in two brood chambers.  In mid spring I would check the hives and if the queens were in the upper hive body and there was no brood in the hive body below I would swap hive bodies.  The queen would fill the now lower hive body and then move up into the upper hive body and start filling that with brood.  I usually did that once or sometimes twice in the spring.  For some reason most queens won't move down to lay in empty comb but will move up.  With a previous year's queen, it made for whopping big colonies, will little swarming.  The same would hold true with the honey supers.  If the queen is in one of them, place it under the brood chamber and she will sooner or later move up into the hive body.

          When doing this though, unless the weather has really gotten mild with no chilly nights, don't split your brood pattern.  If you have 1/2 pf your brood in the bottom part of the lower brood chamber and the other 1/2 in the upper half of the upper brood chamber, you run a really big chance of chilling part of the brood and thus reducing your hive population.  Usually you don't run into that problem with brood chambers.  It's when the queen is in the upper portion of a brood chamber and the super above that that becomes a problem.

          Make sure that your colony(ies) goes into the winter with 80 or so pounds of honey.  (A hive body will go 60 to 70 pounds when full of capped honey.)  Remember too, the winter cluster will move upwards to new food sources but rarely moves sideways.  Hives have been found starved to death in early spring with honey stores on each side of them.  They didn't break cluster to go out to the sides to bring in honey food stores to the cluster.

          Mike in LA


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