Storing honey on the hive over winter?

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18
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Bay of plenty
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Semi Commercial
Newbie Question:
Instead of extracting 100+ supers could I just leave them on hives over winter for the bees?
These are in addition to at least an extra super per hive.

Are there disadvantages to doing this?
 
Solution
the main issue is leaving the hive to big.
hives should be reduced to a wintering size so the bees don't have a huge space to heat and also to protect.
then there is water coming in through all the gaps. plus the gear that stays outside rots a whole lot faster.
its absolutely atrocious to see people wintering hives 6ft tall.

but of course how you winter them depends on your local conditions.
8,435
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maungaturoto
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the main issue is leaving the hive to big.
hives should be reduced to a wintering size so the bees don't have a huge space to heat and also to protect.
then there is water coming in through all the gaps. plus the gear that stays outside rots a whole lot faster.
its absolutely atrocious to see people wintering hives 6ft tall.

but of course how you winter them depends on your local conditions.
 
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Solution

Josh

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Surely this is the “ideal” option for the bees. Id imagine one wintered down box of brood below one box of honey. No feeding needed. All the “health benefits” of honey, as opposed to Chelsea’s finest.
 
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Surely this is the “ideal” option for the bees. Id imagine one wintered down box of brood below one box of honey. No feeding needed. All the “health benefits” of honey, as opposed to Chelsea’s finest.
it depends on what boxes your running and also location.
with 3/4 broods you want two brood boxes. then you can also have a 3rd super on that unless your in a really cold aera. you don;t wan the bees to go up and leave the queen behind.
 
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Josh

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I plan on 2 ¾ and hoping for a good spring split, so leaving them with honey. Currently in Canterbury my two boxes are mainly brood, and not much stores yet. But expect that to change.

@Beepbob, do you mean “stored” or “left for bees to utilise”?
 
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Would putting a solid inner cover above FD brood chamber and one 3/4 honey box be an option to maintain hive size and temp?
with other honey boxes stacked on top.
no.
bees look after the boxes. if its sealed off they can't keep it clean. plus water issues, the inner cover will pool water. the honey will go moldy, ferment etc.
you either keep the boxes on and let bees through them, or take them off extract and store.
 
18
7
Bay of plenty
Experience
Semi Commercial
I plan on 2 ¾ and hoping for a good spring split, so leaving them with honey. Currently in Canterbury my two boxes are mainly brood, and not much stores yet. But expect that to change.

@Beepbob, do you mean “stored” or “left for bees to utilise”?

I'm also wanting to do good strong splits in the spring so had already planned on leaving a full 3/4 honey super for bees
 
18
7
Bay of plenty
Experience
Semi Commercial
no.
bees look after the boxes. if its sealed off they can't keep it clean. plus water issues, the inner cover will pool water. the honey will go moldy, ferment etc.
you either keep the boxes on and let bees through them, or take them off extract and store.
Ok thanks for the heads up @tristan.
I'm in the Bay of plenty so winter is pretty mild.
Perhaps I could wrap the hives to stop moisture getting in if I leave FD brood and 2 honey boxes on?
Maybe sandwich the brood between two honey supers. with Q exc on both sides so they don't abandon the Queen :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:😝

Alternatively... if all my hives are clear of AFB... and if I apiary batched my honey... could I use this instead of sugar syrup to feed in spring?
( I know its not supposed to happen - but does anyone do this?)

Sorry feel like newb questions... I think I'm feeling a bit desperate about how to deal with the excess honey and looking for solutions....
 
8,435
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maungaturoto
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Ok thanks for the heads up @tristan.
I'm in the Bay of plenty so winter is pretty mild.
Perhaps I could wrap the hives to stop moisture getting in if I leave FD brood and 2 honey boxes on?
Maybe sandwich the brood between two honey supers. with Q exc on both sides so they don't abandon the Queen :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:😝

Alternatively... if all my hives are clear of AFB... and if I apiary batched my honey... could I use this instead of sugar syrup to feed in spring?
( I know its not supposed to happen - but does anyone do this?)

Sorry feel like newb questions... I think I'm feeling a bit desperate about how to deal with the excess honey and looking for solutions....
this all should have been covered in your course.
if winter is mild then just leave the boxes on and let the bees look after it.

Alternatively... if all my hives are clear of AFB... and if I apiary batched my honey... could I use this instead of sugar syrup to feed in spring?
( I know its not supposed to happen - but does anyone do this?)
don't do that. thats how you get into trouble fast.
unfortunately some morons do that and then wonder why afb rips through them like a dodgy curry.
you also may find it promoted in your afb training, which i highly disagree on.

golden rule is don't feed bees honey. leaving its own honey on is perfectly fine.
 
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Moisture doesn't get in.
moisture gets in because rain blows in through all the cracks. not much of a problem if it can drain out the bottom. but if you fit a hive matt across it will stop the water and it will pool.

i like the old school front entrance top feeders so if you have a leaky lid the water spills down the front of the hive instead of the middle.
 

Dave Black

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Hives will certainly leak if the Beek insists on cracking the boxes after the bees have propolised the cracks in the late autumn. @Grant is correct in a way, a large amount of moisture is produced as a result of honey consumption. Like us, bees exhale carbon dioxide and water. They are usually able to manage that, the stuff leaking in, not so much. They can't work propolis in the winter.
 
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Hives will certainly leak if the Beek insists on cracking the boxes after the bees have propolised the cracks in the late autumn.
Thanks, that answers a question for me, so it is best to put the mite treatment in early autumn, give it time to work and get the expired strips pulled out before the end of autumn, so that the hive can be left to seal up for winter?
 

Dave Black

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get the expired strips pulled out before the end of autumn,
Yes, while making sure they have enough food and labour to survive (x) number of weeks.
And no, honey is not always the best winter fuel. Lots of honeys can contain proteins and sugars not ideal for confined bees. Purified sugar syrups have their place, but you must feed them while they bees can process them and not leave it until the cold nights turn up.

But this thread is about the bees storing honey so let's leave it there.
 
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