I have 2 big beehives #1 has a deep body and two loaded supers. I added a second deep on the hive body last week. Then put the loaded supers back on top. On #2 I have a hive body packed with no eggs but a good queen so I added a second deep on it too. Now my ? Is when can I put another super on each hive. And how much do I leave for the winter.
Are these 8-frame or 10-frame? As you are in VA, I am assuming they are Langstroth hives?
Traditional supers or Flow supers? Super depth (if traditional) is medium or deep?
When all of the existing boxes meet the “golden rules”. They are:
- All frames have fully drawn comb across the whole frame, and
- Each frame is 80% full of food or brood, and
- Every frame is completely covered with bees.
When all of those are true, you have enough bees to defend and use the new space.
What ever your local beekeeping club says. That can vary from 40 to 80lb, depending on climate and bee strain. In southern California, my Italian bees can easily eat 40lb. In a colder climate it may be 80 to 120lb. Russians eat less. Mutts are unpredictable.
I would allow at least 2 deeps to overwinter them, then if the hives start to feel light in late fall, consider feeding.
I got at least another four months before cold weather. I think they will have time to fill another super or 2 each. I’m hoping to get some honey this is the 2 ND year I’ve had them I’m gonna do 2 deep Lang’s. 10 frames and four supers on each one. And take 2 off each one for me leave 2 for them. Or is there enough in two deeps to get them through the winter
Two loaded supers? In my climate we would harvest 1.5 supers of that. Or the whole lot if a nectar flow is on.
You need local advice, because here in subtropical Australia things are so different.
I am very interested though in how people in other climates deal with their colonies, so I am going to follow and read about the advice you are getting.
Happy bee keeping to you!
Thank you very much. Here I still have 4 months before cold weather. So I hope I can take some off. I been waiting 2 years
In Maryland we overwinter in two deeps. We usually harvest in mid July after the honey is capped. Our main nectar flow is winding down now, so I’m just waiting for the bees to cap the honey. I feed sugar cakes in the late fall in case they need emergency food.
Wow, that’s a very short season you need to be ready for. I wonder how many new beekeepers here in Australia would persevere if they only got honey in their second year, while their ‘natural’ bees die off in winter due to varroa.
I had my first harvest 3 months after I put a 4 frame nuc into the brood box. And harvesting a frame here and there since then, even now in winter. We don’t have varroa yet, that helps. The seasons and forage sure are varied around the world.
I used to think if bees need feeding they were mismanaged, but reading about the different climates and issues sure has given me some more insight and understanding.
Learning heaps through this forum.
I feed all year here in Virginia. It’s like a garrenteed way of making sure it’s all full
You feed with a harvesting super on?