I'm hoping to successfully overwinter my three hives in SF Bay Area after losing all last winter. A few questions:
- One hive had lost it's queen a month or so ago. I requeened with a nuc I had, but the hive was left with little honey stores. I started to feed with an internal two frame feeder, but they've only used perhaps half of its contents. Should I leave the feeder in? I checked it yesterday and some bees seemed to be feeding from it. I have also given the hive a pollen patty and put a pile of drivert on the inner cover that they seem to be slowly eating.
- Normally keepers overwinter with two deeps around here. The hive above has some honey stores in a super that I'm reluctant to remove due to the relatively little amount of stores in the hive. Any problem leaving it on? We have mild winters so I suspect that's fine, though I can imagine I might get brood in it come spring.
- Maybe more of an observation that question, but my three hives have very different amounts of activity. One is bustling, another (the one above) has a modest amount, and the third very little. All seem to be OK internally, so I guess that's just how they are.
Btw winters are mild here (rarely in the 30's and just at night, usually high 50's by day), the sun is shining, and I see lots of bees foraging and bringing in pollen.