This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Feeding and how much honey to leave in the hive

As fall progresses the days will start turning cooler. As it cools off the bees are reluctant to take down syrup. Long range temperatures have highs in the 50's.
 A hive going into winter needs to have 8 full frames of honey and one partially filled frame in the top box. The lower box on a two deep hive or middle box if you are running three deeps, should have about four frames of honey.
 The partially filled frame should be in the middle of the top box. This partially filled frame is used to help the bees to transition from the lower box to the top box in late January. Bees don't like to crawl up on to frozen honey. The cluster can move up on the partially filled frame because the lower part of the frame is empty of honey. The bees can easily warm the empty beeswax cells. As the cluster moves up on the frame, the bees can begin to warm up honey on the adjacent frames at the same time.
 The upcoming week should be in the upper 60's to low 70's. Perfect weather for feeding bees. Try to get the feeding done as fast as possible. Feeding is a nectar flow, the nectar coming in will keep the queen laying. With the increased brood production there will be more mite production. What a vicious circle we beekeepers have to live with. For this reason, treating with Oxalic Acid in late October can counter the new brood/Varroa production. Try to get the feeding done as soon as possible, so we don't have brood in the hive for Thanksgiving.