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little old forum but if i understand correctly i could overwinter 1 fd box (box full with brood and honey stores) as a single story. I'm a newbie and i thought that there wouldn't be enough honey stores to overwinter. Do you need a certain number of frames of brood versus honey??

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Lots of hives are overwintered in one box, a general guide is that a single box hive needs about 6 fms of honey going into the winter. Also a single needs to be checked for food reserves eailier in the spring than a 2 high. A 2 high is perhaps more forgiving. Wintering hives feels a long way off at the moment, hope we get some honey in the meantime.

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It is dry here at the moment but still friggin cold in the mornings, not a lot of nectar sources at the moment, definately not a flow, barely a drip. pollen still coming in good qauntities - feeding bees at the moment and the are using 1-1.5 litres aday with stuff all stored in the cells. Another fickle season me thinks.

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little old forum but if i understand correctly i could overwinter 1 fd box (box full with brood and honey stores) as a single story. I'm a newbie and i thought that there wouldn't be enough honey stores to overwinter. Do you need a certain number of frames of brood versus honey??

It's best to feed them sugar syrup, it doesn't pay to let them get too desperate for food before you give them any or they can't process it properly.

 

Mesh bases are great for moisture in the hive, you get hardly any, maybe it is a little cooler but I think that's not necessarily a bad thing as being a little cooler causes them to shrink a wee bit sooner so they go through less stores and seem to winter over better. I'm not as much of a fan of singles, they take a lot of attention in spring to bring them up to speed and need more attention and feeding over winter.

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Singles winter fine here, and come away well in spring. I guess it depends on the climate a bit - it gets bloody cold here at times and there's a broodless spell. But I leave on at least a 3/4 honey super, too, and I feed if needed to make sure that's full before the winter.

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Singles winter fine here, and come away well in spring. I guess it depends on the climate a bit - it gets bloody cold here at times and there's a broodless spell. But I leave on at least a 3/4 honey super, too, and I feed if needed to make sure that's full before the winter.

I agree - singles overwinter just fine. I overwinter most of my hives on a single 3/4 box (8 frames plus a 2-frame feeder) and they do fine. I also have no problem getting 4-frame (3/4 frames) nucs through the winter here in Dunedin. Provided they have a good population of bees going into winter they get through fine. Once the weather warms up a bit and pollen starts coming in they can build up really quickly. Some of the colonies that I had as nucs last winter are now sitting on 3 boxes with most of a box of honey on them.

I do find that there is a bit of variation from one site to the next. I have some hives up in the hills above Dunedin (350m altitude) and find there isn't as much honey around up there in Sept/Oct as there is in town so these get a bit of sugar to help them out. There always seems to be plenty of pollen where my hives are.

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I have heard too that running with single brood boxes means that the bees store more pollen above the queen excluder, is that your experience frazz?

 

Can you extract those frames? I am guess you have to skip those frames or just scrape them?

 

we have no problem with winter singles. might convert all to that this season as our autumn splits came through very well. i'm hoping wintering singles will be slower to build up in spring. building up to fast at start of spring is a problem for us.

single brood boxes do tend to put pollen up in the super, tho its very little. its not an issue for extraction.

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we get 'mystery' death here, where your hives just sort of dwindle for no reason, its unusual, it seems to happen to all the Gisborne beekeepers especially in certain areas(the 'flats')

And you can rule out all the things it isn't but noone seems to be able to work out what it actually is..

So everyone here moves their hives up the wops over winter or they get pretty crook.

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we have willow, but it was pretty average this year.

I also saw a few next to starving cases today, which we don't often get this time of year. I suppose its a combination of bad weather and lesser flowering... yet some flowering is really good, so that one stumps me a wee bit

Oh well, all fixed now :)

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we get 'mystery' death here, where your hives just sort of dwindle for no reason,

probably some toxic nectar or pollen around. while not a big problem in summer with plenty of replacement bees, in winter especially with no or minimal brood you have no replacements so hive dies.

you would need to spend some time in the field and see what the bees are working.

 

in contrast we generally get a lot of pollen and a bit of winter nectar. as its not that cold in winter they run lots of brood over winter. having 20 frames brood at the start of spring is just pointless.

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probably some toxic nectar or pollen around. while not a big problem in summer with plenty of replacement bees, in winter especially with no or minimal brood you have no replacements so hive dies.

you would need to spend some time in the field and see what the bees are working.

 

in contrast we generally get a lot of pollen and a bit of winter nectar. as its not that cold in winter they run lots of brood over winter. having 20 frames brood at the start of spring is just pointless.

I wish we had 20 frames of brood at the start of spring :D split split split... I'd be stoked!!!!!

 

Hmm toxic nectar or pollen.. maybe, who knows, we have alot of ideas on what it could be but noone knows for sure.

Some people think its just insecticides and crops, brocolli flowering and not being ploughed in is just one example I can think of.

Then it doesn't take much to kill them once their down, wasps, bad weather and not much flowering.

I suppose we are pretty lucky in other ways

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I wish we had 20 frames of brood at the start of spring :D split split split... I'd be stoked!!!!!

what do you do with 10 splits per hive ?

could you even split that many fast enough?

 

mind you that was max, most where less but still coming out of winter as big swarmy hives before swarming season started is not a great thing. most swarmed before you could get around to split them. some years where so bad you could barely find a hive worth splitting because of the swarming.

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what do you do with 10 splits per hive ?

could you even split that many fast enough?

 

mind you that was max, most where less but still coming out of winter as big swarmy hives before swarming season started is not a great thing. most swarmed before you could get around to split them. some years where so bad you could barely find a hive worth splitting because of the swarming.

Just chop them into 4, all they need is a bit of a knock back.

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Just chop them into 4, all they need is a bit of a knock back.

even then, where do you get an extra 4000 set of hive gear from ;) and what do you do with 5000 hives that all need treatment and feeding?

a whole lot easier to run them smaller over winter so they eat less, need less feeding and breed up slower in spring.

as with your wintering, you have to know your sites and work out a system that suits.

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I wondered whether having a FD brood box, a queen excluder, and a 3/4 super for overwintering could have other issues.

 

1) Wouldn't the brood below lose quite a bit of heat up into the super?

2) Couldn't the bees abandon the queen below because they want to rise up into the heat of the top box.

 

Obviously part 2 doesn't happen, but it is something I have wondered in the past with regard to leaving supers on hives over winter.

Peter read this in conjunction with what frazz said after your comment.

We got warned watch single brood boxes the queen can get abandoned. Our last few years experience has been single brood box queen excluder then honey box, no queen abandonment, just happy hives, but the same configuration this winter would have seen us with at least 30 percent queen losses if we hadnt realised what was happening and quickly got rid of the xcluders (late July...too late really the queen health was compromised) as they were deserted. The difference is other years there was enough late flow to fill the brood box and the honey box but this last winter many (not all) of our hives had open brood nests (that is honey in the top honey box and a little in the brood box). we would now say we were left with two options at the end of the season either remove all queen excluders where the brood wasnt packed with honey and the bees could take the queen to the top box or sugar feed until both the brood and honey box were full. Thankfully we took some mated queens through the winter for the first time. But early spring we were scrambling and werent happy with our hives.

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we get 'mystery' death here, where your hives just sort of dwindle for no reason, its unusual, it seems to happen to all the Gisborne beekeepers especially in certain areas(the 'flats')

And you can rule out all the things it isn't but noone seems to be able to work out what it actually is..

So everyone here moves their hives up the wops over winter or they get pretty crook.

Daley do they dwindle where there has been lots of maize harvested. We have to move ours away from maize areas at harvest for that reason. If the stumps are turned into the ground quickly like a week or 10 days, we may leave htem on a site.

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Peter read this in conjunction with what frazz said after your comment.

We got warned watch single brood boxes the queen can get abandoned. Our last few years experience has been single brood box queen excluder then honey box, no queen abandonment, just happy hives, but the same configuration this winter would have seen us with at least 30 percent queen losses if we hadnt realised what was happening and quickly got rid of the xcluders (late July...too late really the queen health was compromised) as they were deserted. ......

 

i find this really strange.

for the last 10 years we have done a mix of single brood with honey super or double brood. never seen "queen abandoned" and certainly the single broods never failed any more than the doubles.

however i guess your in a very cold part of the country. the cluster being away from its food can cause problems.

may pay to mention your location.

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