Well I looked today being we are 40+ I took a peek through the observation window. My strong hive is solid ice on the window. At one point this Jan they were coming out of the vent hole at the rear and at the time I had no idea why. Today I pulled the insulation back to have a look and saw a bunch of dead bees that likely died of dysentary or not being to able to get back in before freezing that night, or both. So I'm assuming that hive is dead. I believe it went into winter too strong possibly.
The other hive I have no idea. All winter I've had a clear spot on the rear part of the window so it either died early or is possibly doing 'ok'. They havent tried getting out. It did go into winter as a weaker numbers wise hive. Either way the ice on the window doesnt look very thick and it doesnt cover the hole glass. Hopefully this is a sing of good ventilation? or?
What exactly IS enough ventilation and how do you know if you have it or not? I'd assume by the time I hit -20 outside its too late to be screwing with the hives too much.
I have yet to open either hive up. At what point should I start looking to see if they are alive and have enough feed to get through atleast 2 more months of winter? And when if they are alive should I start putting in proten patties again? I have a 3rd tbh built I may sell and try and build a couple warre's or foundationless langs instead.
I'm hoping to build a shed this summer for the girls and go that route next winter. Ran out of time as usual, winters come fast. Either way I have to figure out how to get rid of the moisture. I have a front entrance, and left a gap towards the rear top of the hive on both sides.
I did get prices today on bees for this spring. 150 bucks for a 4lb package of Russian-Carni's....gonna have to make some major changes if i plan on continuing as a beek!