I have never fed sugar water except in the spring before the first nectar flow. After that they bring in enough nectar on their own to make it through the winter. usually towards the end of the last nectar flow(which is usually the Goldenrod flow), I remove all my Honey Supers and let them finish stocking up on their Winter reserves with the last few weeks of the goldenrod nectar flow. I've never had to feed them sugar water in the fall.
Like TNHunter posted a bit ago, not much to do for the next few months. I was off yesterday and I spent 8 hours watching many upon many videos on Beekeeping. I learned a whole lot. You guys ever use a \"Top Bar Hive\" or even the Warre\" behives? I guess the Langstroth Beehive is the most common or most used but the other ones sure looked interesting too especially the \"Warre\" hives.
I watched so many videos I actually feel like I might have a chance at this. I saw, Splits, Broods, Supers, Queen transplants, wintering, feeding, honey extraction, blah blah blah. lol and interesting stuff!!!!
Wife is getting nervous about me getting obsessed with something else like I am with ginseng and mushrooms. It could be worse thou. Love nature and anything to do with it.
Come on spring!!!!!
Yes, these are the long boring months of winter. I have been going through my bee Equiptment and making sure it's all in good shape I found one Inner Cover that had the \"bee escape\" hole enlarged by a mice. But I have plenty of inner covers that I don't need to worry about it right now.
Also found some damage to drawn comb by Wax Moths. But the bees will clean all that up and repair what has been damaged.
I plan to give all the hive boxes that I plan to use this spring a fresh coat of paint. They look pretty good but once they are on the hive, they will be there for years. So I will freshin them up before they get put to use.
Sound like you've been busy learning about bees. It's truely educational. From my very first year with bees, I was Hooked on every thing about beekeeping. The first time I pulled a frame out of the box that had the Queen right on it and the frame had hundreds of eggs and larvae along with capped brood and it even had new bees emerging out of the comb, I was totally amazed. I think once you see a hive in full production, you will be Hooked on Beekeeping.
As far as the Top bar hives and Warre hives, I am not very familiar with. I think they are more of a novelty type hive. But the Langstroth Hives are designed for honey production and thats why all commercial beekeepers use them.
I guess thats what my goal is. To Bring in the honey. I will sell some, but most of it I will give away as gifts and donations to needy people through our church.
I am very excited about my Seng and Bees this spring!
This year I decided to switch to the medium 6 5/8\" boxes for the brood boxes to cut down on the weight. So it will be easier to lift the boxes.
Here is a pic of the Deep brood boxes I used to use compared to the medium size boxes. But it takes three medium boxes to give the same amount of brood space as the deep boxes. Deep boxes on the left and medium boxes on the right.
I forgot to mention that these frames are in boxes with a 9 frame spacers. You would use boxes with nine frames for Supering. That is when you put boxes on top of the brood boxes to harvest honey. But for using for brood boxes, I will remove the 9 frame spacer and put 10 frames in the brood box.
The reason for nine frames in the honey super boxes, is to allow more space for the bees to draw the comb out past the edge of the frame so when you extract the honey, the cap on the closed cells of honey can be cut with the honey knife for extracting.
I been using all medium supers also. I use 2 for my brood boxes with good results. Weight and having common woodware is the reason I went with mediums. I use the Langstroth style for more production. The Top Bar style isn't a natural way bee's would buid a hive.
It does make sense to use boxes that are all the same size.
After observing in the past how much my colonies have grown in each hive. I would say that the bees would run out of room to expand if I used only two medium boxes for the brood area. The bees would be busting out the seams. With three boxes you would have a lot higher population of bees to bring in the honey. Which would mean more honey to harvest.
I feel it's best to build the hive up to the highest population of bees by the end of June. More bees in the hive during the summer months usually means that you will have a stronger hive at the end of winter going into the new season. Then it's easier to make a successful split from a hive that has a higher population of bees.
Latt, Jump in and learn as you go! You'll do fine!