Michigan first year TBH and big concerns about wintering.
See and hear no activity in our TBH. I did make a viewing window that spans most of the hive but we can't totally see into bars 1-3. Also, the first 2 are not straight-when we hung the queen cage there they made thost first 2 bars angled across both...bars 3-21 they did properly...1&2 are stuck together. This week we took a heater out there and opened the hive. All the while as we removed bars starting at 24, I kept looking for bees in the other end. Got to bar 3 and still nothing. Cracked 2&3 and saw a small group of bees. Went no farther. Question-we got a regular size box of bees this spring-figure about 8,000 bees? How many would we have normally? And, who has a guess on how many we COULD have if they were all packed in bars 1&2?
We heard them a few weeks ago buzzing. Now when we shake or tap on the hive,no sound.
The other thing is that the major honey in the hive is in bars 8-15. Being that far away makes one wonder how/if they'd even get to it to eat it for winter?
Also, are there 'hardier' bees we can get? Ones that are more used to winter? I'm in lower MI, around Grand Rapids area...Guys around here have Langstroth's and have had mixed success. I added a bunch of insulation weeks ago to mine...