I’m new to the group, hello from east TN. I have some questions. I have a brood box and the flow honey super on, do you take queen excluder off in winter? Is there anything else I should do ? The flow super is full of honey so they should have enough honey for the winter. I didn’t take any honey off since it is the first yr. I got these bees this past spring and have seemed to have done well. They were a big hive and have plenty of honey. Thank you for any help given. Still not sure what I’m doing, counting on the bees do!
Hello and welcome to the forum!
There are many threads that already address your questions! Try the search function to see what you can find.
Unfortunately, the days are already quite cool and short for you to really prep for overwintering properly. It’s good that you didn’t rob from the bees during their first year, but you would probably have been better off adding a second brood box or letting them backfill their single deep, if that’s how you planned to overwinter.
You don’t want to leave the flow super on for winter. It should have been off more than a month ago. At that time you would have had the opportunity to feed some back to the bees or feed them syrup to get the hive up to weight. The bees may be able to make use of the honey up there but they will gum it up with propolis and likely use it for (drone) brood come spring.
You should remove the super and harvest it off the hive, consume it, store it (in the freezer if it is unripe) or try to feed it back to the bees.
How much honey do they have stored in the brood box?
If the brood box is also stuffed full of honey then you may be in ok shape to over winter, just make sure you don’t have many mites and insulate/wrap/cover as appropriate for your climate.
If there’s not much honey, then you will need to figure out some way to get food into the hive. Maybe candy board or maybe trying to stuff drawn comb manually.
You probably need to go ahead and contact your local beekeeping club and get someone out there to look your colony over. We have great weather the next few days. You need to act fast if you want to give your colony the best chance of survival.