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Honey for Winter

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New Bee

Joined: 15 Jul 2017
Posts: 6
Location: Western North Carolina,usa

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 12:59 am    Post subject: Honey for Winter Reply with quote

How many bars of honey should I leave for a tb colony to winter?
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Obviously we are a long way off winter preparation yet so I'm not sure if you are asking so that you know if you can harvest some honey now or if you are just planning ahead for late summer/autumn harvest?

Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer to the question as to how much they will need. It depends on a number of factors like size of colony, breed of bees and climate. A tiny colony of dark bees will only need a small amount of honey to overwinter particularly in a cooler climate....maybe as little as 3lbs. A large colony of Italian bees might need 30 or 40lbs and maybe more if it is not cold and they continue to raise brood right through the winter.
We are in swarming season now, so a large colony now may swarm multiple times and dwindle to a much smaller colony by late summer. The bees will also forage throughout the summer and autumn and towards the end of summer, they reduce the amount of brood they produce and start back filling the brood nest with honey, so their honey stores should increase at that time of year if they are sufficiently strong. If you get a drought in summer and the nectar dries up, but they are still producing lots of brood, they can suddenly eat through their stores and can even starve in the middle of summer, so climate can play a huge part. Talking to local beekeepers will probably give you a better idea of what a strong colony needs to survive winter in your area.

I'm sorry that I cannot give you a definitive answer.
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Quality Top Bar Hives by Andrew Vidler

Conserving wild bees

Research suggests that bumble bee boxes have a very low success rate in actually attracting bees into them. We find that if you create an environment where first of all you can attract mice inside, such as a pile of stones, a drystone wall, paving slabs with intentionally made cavities underneath, this will increase the success rate.

Most bumble bee species need a dry space about the size a football, with a narrow entrance tunnel approximately 2cm in diameter and 20 cm long. Most species nest underground along the base of a linear feature such as a hedge or wall. Sites need to be sheltered and out of direct sunlight.

There is a spectacular display of wild bee hotels here

More about bumblebees and solitary bees here

Information about the Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum)

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