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Old 23rd August 2013, 11:22 AM   #1
northernsoul
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Default Honey rather than sugar

Due to an ongoing illness which will make it difficult if not impossible to remove and extract the supers, I'm toying with the idea of leaving them on over winter instead of feeding them the usual sugar syrup throughout September.

In theory how many fully capped supers would I need to leave on a National to ensure that they don't starve and how do you think they should be placed, i.e. under or over the brood box.

I'm a psychotherapist not a mathematician so not great with working out kg just tell me straight. I'm more interested in how the bees will feel about it.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 11:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by northernsoul View Post
Due to an ongoing illness which will make it difficult if not impossible to remove and extract the supers, I'm toying with the idea of leaving them on over winter instead of feeding them the usual sugar syrup throughout September.

In theory how many fully capped supers would I need to leave on a National to ensure that they don't starve and how do you think they should be placed, i.e. under or over the brood box.

I'm a psychotherapist not a mathematician so not great with working out kg just tell me straight. I'm more interested in how the bees will feel about it.
It will be much better for them to overwinter with honey to feed them rather than sugar syrup ... how much you leave on is rather dependent upon how big a colony is going in to winter, how greedy they are in terms of feeding and what the weather is going to be like - colder it is the more energy they will need to heat the cluster.

So .. why not start off with one super over the brood (without a queen excluder) and store the spare filled supers close by in case they need more when you heft the hive after christmas. If you insulate well above the super that will keep them nice and warm with the extra space the super provides.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by northernsoul View Post
In theory how many fully capped supers would I need to leave on a National .

ZERO

When you winter your bees, you MUST restrict the wintering room according the cluster size. Othrewise bees nust heat themselves all the time because heat escapes to open air.

Sugar is as goo winter food as honey. Bees do not nees honey.
My bees live with sugar 9 months a year. Pollen is what they need.

Take off the supers, extrcat them if they are still liquid honey. But the hive is not a place where top store "several supers" or even one.


MUST? Ok, if you do not, they are your bees. But why you must try to kill them?
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Old 23rd August 2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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It will be much better for them to overwinter with honey to feed them rather than sugar syrup .
That is not true at all. Sugar is good enough. And you do not have even real winter in UK

You feed honey to bees in winter and sugar on summer in UK

I feed sugar for winter, and summer food they must get from nature.
If they do not get food, I MUST move the place of yard.

.

Last edited by Finman; 23rd August 2013 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 01:01 PM   #5
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That is not true at all. Sugar is good enough. And you do not have even real winter in UK

You feed honey to bees in winter and sugar on summer in UK

I feed sugar for winter, and summer food they must get from nature.
If they do not get food, I MUST move the place of yard.

.
So ... if you put a feeder of honey alongside a feeder with sugar syrup in your hive - which one will the bees choose first ? AND ... which is their natural food ?

Answers on a postcard to Finman please ... not looking for another rant thread.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 01:07 PM   #6
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Oh finman! Read the post, they can't take the honey off! They are not well!
It is fine to leave the honey on the hive. The best way to do it is to get the help of someone else just for a day, go round your hives and put the fullest super from each hive underneath the brood chamber, they will take the honey into the brood box, that is where they will overwinter and the gap at the bottom where the super is is no worse than an mesh floor.
If you are feeling better in spring, which I hope you are, just remove the supers.
In theory they need no supers if the bb is full of honey but it does no harm to leave it on the hive either as above or on top. The danger is leaving empty supers on top where the heat will go, whatever happens don't forget to remove the QE for winter.
Best wishes for a full recovery
E
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Old 23rd August 2013, 01:56 PM   #7
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On the basis that the bees put it there, and have been doing so for ???????years.

leave it where it is.

They dont really start eating it until well after Christmas.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 02:01 PM   #8
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Do you mean super frames or super boxes?
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Old 23rd August 2013, 02:16 PM   #9
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I always leave my bees a super of honey now - I swop the boxes round so super on the bottom, then the brood box (s)...they seem to do fine on it. One year I listened to advice and took all supers off and fed heavily and had most losses ever.

So I stick with what my bees like. I swop the boxes so that in spring HM will move to warmest part of hive -BB- to lay...leaving the super empty ready to be taken off on first inspection.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 02:26 PM   #10
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Not sure if I am mistaken or not but from what Finman seems to be saying I think he takes all the supers off, therefore leaving only brood box or boxes and then feeds them sugar for 9 months which they can only store in the brood frames.
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