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Nads

NZBF Wintering down set up

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Hi newbeek here, coming into my first winter in Wanganui, I acquired my hives in October last year and have built up to 4 boxes on one and 3 on the other (it was a nuc to begin with).  No queen excluder, just thought I would try it this way...  I have noticed in the three box hive a lot of pollen in the bottom box, brood in the middle and honey on top.  I want to keep the honey on for winter, but how do I manipulate the pollen, do I take it off completely so its just a two box hive??  you kind comments are welcome.

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I think a lot of beekeepers underestimate the importance of stored pollen for late winter and early spring brood rearing. Personally I would take off the box of honey and then feed sugar if the second box had less than 15 kg of honey. Plenty of people do over winter hives three high with no problems. There is a lot more than one right way to do things.

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Would I reverse the boxes so that the brood would be at the bottom, currently sitting in second box?  Pollen above this with mixed honey?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Nads said:

Would I reverse the boxes so that the brood would be at the bottom, currently sitting in second box?  Pollen above this with mixed honey?

No not really . The bees are setting up for winter and that manipulation won’t help them . 

Their issue is too much space for the number of bees , which means that the top box should have come off before now and they would have crammed honey in the bottom box after it was removed . 

Best thing I can think of is put a hive mat with a small hole in it, or alternatively a top feeder ,  between the top box and the next one down . Make sure the queen is below in box one and two from the ground , and no brood in top box .

Bees will live snuggly in bottom two boxes and use the third box for feed later on.

 

That stored pollen is valuable 

Edited by M4tt
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