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Overwintering in single deeps in far north

Hi, someone had mentioned managing bees in a single deep all year round in Ontario. I have been watching videos by the University of Guelph on it and it makes sense to me. But I’m looking into joining a local beekeeping club and it’s doubtful I would have anyone who supports doing it that way here in New Hampshire. So I’m wondering if it’s the kind of thing I should wait a few years and see if I can keep my bees alive through a few winters in double deeps Or if it is simple enough for a newbie. The main things I see are feeding 2:1 sugar syrup, 4 gallons per hive in the fall, checking to see if the bees need food on a warm day in Feb or March, and being proactive about splitting the hive to prevent swarms and being extra careful to feed the bees in spring/summer when you take honey off so they don’t starve if there is bad weather or poor nectar flow. If anyone who lives in northern parts would be kind enough to summarize how it works out for them, I’d appreciate it. Even if I don’t do it this year, I’d like to work towards it in the future. Also, I’m wondering if hive survival rates are any different with single vs double deeps. Thank you!!

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Heya, have you tried the Facebook group for NH beekeepers? https://www.facebook.com/NHBeekeepers/ or https://nhbeekeepers.org as they are in your region and probably could give you sound insight into how they overwintered. University of Guelph area has weather similar to yours I believe; Paul Kelly is the guy in all the videos there and I have been following his advice and having good success. I would say dealing with pest management is likely the most critical factor in overwintering-- if you don’t treat for that dreaded Verroa Destructor mite then it won’t matter how many boxes you have as the bees will all be dead by spring. I learned the hard way!

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Thanks! I finally have been added to a local groups Facebook page. Hopefully I can find some more answers there!

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Hi @Sasinnh, a good bloke to follow is Jim from @VinoFarm. He’s in the New England area somewhere & has learned a lot by mistakes. He has a Youtube channel & makes very entertaining videos.

The University of Guelpf might be onto something. Even if you can’t find support for their ideas in your area, why don’t you go it alone & follow their ideas without the local support?

cheers

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Hi JeffH and Sasinnh,

I believe the UOGuelph bees are overwintered INDOORS. So, those techniques may not pertain to what you’re trying to do. I have had much success (over 85% survival rate over 4 winters) overwintering with a combination of Vivaldi boards with burlap, coroplast wraps, and 2" of foam insulation. The last two winters I have had almost all my colonies in One 8 Frame Deep + One 8 Frame Medium configuration. I have had two survive in single 8 frame deeps. Double Deeps are NOT necessary despite what everyone told me when I was starting out.

I have an entire step by step Winterizing System 2-part Video on my channel:

Best of luck!
Jim

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Hi! I will check out the vino farm videos, have noticed them but not watched them yet. I am willing to go it alone, but thought maybe I should wait until I have more experience so I don’t starve my bees by accident. Thanks!

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Thanks Jim! I will check out the video as soon as I can!

UoG overwinters outdoors as well, they have many sites not indoors in the area and more north (buck fast bees on an Island).

@Tim_Purdie Ah… I saw their indoor wintering video and thought they did that for all their hives. Thanks for the info.

I think I must have seen the outdoor overwintering prep video. There is a young man who has videos about it as well who does the same thing as them. I need to check out the vino farm videos now though!

Hi @Sasinnh & Hi @VinoFarm, thanks for replying.

“Going it alone” means you don’t have face to face mentors, however you’ll have lots of helpful online mentors. Plus a lot of beekeeping comes down to common sense which we can put into practice once we understand bee culture a bit. A good video on bee culture is “City of Bees”, put out by the Moody Institute of Science in the early 19sixties. You’ll find it on Youtube.

cheers

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