my thoughts on MONSTER HIVES. as the season goes along and the beekeeper coaxes the bees to store more honey by putting more empty boxes above them....the two bottom deeps become a huge nest area for POPULATION (to distribute among these MANY boxes). along comes harvest - beekeeper takes all the honey away - "shoves" all the population (STORAGE bees) into the bottom deeps. and WHAT JUST HAPPENED????? there's no honey stored in the deeps - you've got a huge population of older bees....and THEY DECIDE....THE QUEEN MUST STOP LAYING - NO RESOURCES. beekeeper thinks - oh oh....queenless. and it's LATE AUGUST/ early september....what flowers still exist for them to FILL THEIR OWN BOXES?
it's a TRAINWRECK.
each of these MONSTER HIVES has a "HIVE SUPER" of their own that's filled and capped...and set aside. I put THEIRS on first...and gradually moved it up and up and off. (i super on the bottom of the stack). SO THE PLAN THIS YEAR IS: when i go to harvest honey - they're going to get THEIR SUPER back - to overwinter with. they will overwinter as 2 deeps and a hive-super.
i was noting the coming abundance of PURPLE FLOWERS this morning...for me - it signals the end of the season. i've got less than 60 days left to MAKE SURE THE BEES HAVE ENOUGH HONEY FOR WINTER!
noted: #2 and #6 monster hives currently have 5 supers on. top two on each are FULL and HEAVY but not capped. AS SOON AS they're capped - they're getting cleared. I WANT TO PUSH this population down gradually this year!!!