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How much to leave for winter


#1

I’m a brand new beek, as of this April, and am looking ahead to harvest/winterizing. I’m having a hard time finding info on how much honey I need to leave for my bees this winter. I know the “Beekeeping for All” recommends ~12 kg, but Warre was is a different climate than I. He was in hardiness zone 8, I’m in 6b (Salt Lake City, UT). Advice for Langstroth’s is easy to find, but doesn’t seem to correlate at all to what little info I can find about overwintering Warre’s.

I can’t find any other locals doing Warre’s that have much experience, and I don’t want to lose my new friends over winter. So, any experience, tips, or advice you can share about how much your bees have used in past winters (along with what your location/hardiness zone is) would be greatly appreciated.

    Will

#2

Will,

Thanks for your post. I’m in hardiness zone 8b (Portland, OR), so I leave at least a single box of honey (about 30lbs) per colony. I generally overwinter in 2 boxes – one full of honey (the top one), and one mostly full of brood. I find that my Warre hives eat through far less stores than my Langstroth hives have in the past. In fact, the Warre hives usually come out of winter with plenty to spare. If they die, I’ve never had them die to starvation. I would try at least 1 box, and maybe a box and a half of honey to see how they do. It never hurts to leave more and then harvest in the spring when they don’t need it so badly.

Best,

Matt


#3

Matt,

Thanks for the info. One followup question, though. How do you leave a half a box of honey? Empty space around 4 central bars? Or, are you just saying a full box on top and then whatever spare honey is around the brood nest in the bottom box? I’m getting the sense that maybe Warre’s are not so sensitive to climate/temperature over the winter as some other hive designs and so maybe the advice in “Beekeeping for all” can be more widely applied without much modification.

         Will

#4

Are Warre hives suitable for the deep South? Haven’t read anything about keeping hives cool. Everything seems to be about how to keep them warm. Are there any considerations for using this type of hive in high heat and humidity?

Thanks,