Winter Beehive Insulation Overwintering Emergency Feed Single Brood Chamber Management Honey Mite Control

Two Winter Configurations For The One Queen Keeper

As winter approaches, it's essential to consider your hive's configuration for the cold months ahead. Here are two possible setups for the One Queen Keeper:

  1. Brood Box, Queen Excluder, Empty Medium Spacer Box:

    • Remove all supers above the medium spacer box, including the deep exchange box.
    • In this configuration, your bees may need supplemental feeding unless there are ample honey stores already in the 8-frame brood chamber.
    • The empty medium spacer box offers a convenient spot to place two mason quart jars, filled with 2:1 sugar syrup. Be cautious not to overfeed, as this can trigger swarming. Always check honey stores first.
    • You can also use the empty medium nuc box for later winter emergency feeding, such as fondant or dry sugar.
  2. Brood Box, Deep Exchange Box:

    • Remove all medium supers, the medium spacer box, and the queen excluder. Then, drop the deep exchange box down onto the brood chamber.
    • In this configuration, your bees will sustain themselves through winter by consuming the 25-30 pounds of honey stored in the exchange box.
    • If you recently started a colony in The Keeper's Hive and have no honey in the exchange box, it's advisable to opt for option #1.
    • Option #1 is also suitable for smaller colonies (four frames of bees or fewer).
    • To prepare for late-winter emergency feeding, you can add a 1.5-inch shim above the deep nuc box for fondant or granulated sugar.

It's generally recommended to transition your bees into the chosen winter configuration before conducting the mid-September mite treatment with either Apiguard or Apivar. This minimizes disruption to the brood nest when miticides are in use.

As a personal preference, option #2 is my favorite for overwintering. It allows your bees to rely on their stored honey in the exchange box, offering a simple and effective winter strategy. 


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