Winter prep - Super is still on

Hello, I’m in Northern New Mexico and this is my first year with a hive. I reached out to my local organization about preparing for the Winter and was told to remove the queen excluder and leave the Super on the hive to help the bees get through the winter. I have only one brood box this year (I’ve already ordered a second for next year). It gets quite cold here for a long period of time. I’m afraid I’ve made a mistake, however, as I’m now reading specifically about Winter with a Flow Hive. My question is:

  • Should I leave the Super on the hive and hope for the best in the spring with the issue of the queen laying in the Super and the flow no longer working properly?
  • Or should I, at this late date, harvest the honey, start feeding my bees 2:1 sugar water and get all the bees back in the brood box for the winter and hope they will be warm enough and not starve with their limited stores.

I’m tempted to go with option 1 as I’d prefer to have an equipment issue before I let the bees starve but would appreciate any advice on this issue.

Thank you!

No, you should remove it. The bees will propolize the frames, the honey will crystallize, and the queen will lay drone brood in it. All these things will gum it up pretty bad. Although I have not experienced this personally it’s the consensus of the group.

Yes. Harvest the flow frames, give them a day or two to clean up and then feed them syrup via some sort of internal hive feeder (miller feeder, bucket, bags, frame feeder, etc.) It should not take them long to stock up.


OK, thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it. I think the advice I got, even though I said I had a Flow Hive, was not geared to this specific type of Super. I will remove the Super tomorrow and feed the bees!

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Yeah, it sounds like traditional langstroth advice.

If your bees are well stocked they should be able to make it until spring but you might want to keep an eye on the hive weight and be prepared to feed them if the hive is light before the spring nectar flow starts - not sure when that is for you area. Around here it is late march (if there is flying weather) to April and then really going in May.

I over winter in central Ohio with single brood boxes but I think I am in the minority.

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OK, I’ll keep an eye on them. Much appreciated.