An impressive 17.5kg is pretty good for a first year back in beesness. Sometimes it’s a bit of a gamble. You don’t want to take too much but all in excess can be taken. Below, I did a bit of research to figure out how much a hive needs to survive the winter.
Total Jars: 42
Total frames taken: 14
Total pounds (roughly): 17.5kg (38.5 lbs)
June 23: Took 2 frames from Big hive and 2 from Mom’s hive.
July 9: Took out 2 frames from Mom’s hive
July 18: Took out 4 frames from Mailbox hive and 2 from Big hive.
Aug. 24: Took out 4 frames from Mailbox hive and 2 from the Big hive.
*Some frames were fuller than others.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture Beekeeping calendar of B.C.,
- “in some areas beekeepers begin extracting in July.”
- “And in August, all supers containing honey in excess of what is required for wintering should be taken off and extracted the second half of the month.”
- “A hive requires 50-80 pounds of honey and pollen (both sides)” to make it through the winter.
- Start feeding early enough so bees can “invert the sugars, evaporate the moisture and properly store and cap the material.”
So obviously I did things my way but maybe next year I’ll follow the recommendations. There are generally lots of opinions when it comes to beekeeping and from what I’ve gathered in the Vancouver Island Facebook group, many like to keep one hive two supers high. That allows for enough storage space for honey and pollen but also keeps the hive small and cozy throughout the winter. Make sure that one of those supers is fully loaded with honey. Another thing to remember, is that all the honey should be capped going into colder periods of winter as uncapped honey draws in moisture. Therefore, we need to feed sugar water starting right after the blackberry harvest so they have material to cap it.
Stay tuned on an update about mites. I hate them!!!!