Hi everyone! I just started a hive in May, with a nucleus, and I think the queen died at some point. I was a somewhat neglectful beekeeper, as the person who was meant to help me disappeared and I was skittish. We have a queen now, but I think she's new. As a result, the bees haven't built out very much, and are really only filling a single hive body / deep. They don't have nearly enough honey to survive the winter.

I've been advised to keep feeding them 2:1 sugar syrup through the winter with our hive top feeder; it's the type they can climb up into without leaving the hive at all. It's also been suggested that we shelter the hive in a small shed rather than leaving them to the elements. But I also recently read that they won't eat from a hive top feeder in the winter once they've clustered.

Does anyone have suggestions for helping my small, nascent hive survive the harsh Northeastern winter?

Kamela, in Medford, MA