Emergency feeding a top bar hive with a new package installed? (weather turned cold)
I am in north metro Atlanta and received my package this past Sunday. Weather had been more spring like the last week and so I didn't really think anything about it. Well, Monday (today) the temp dropped to a high of 48 and it is supposed to get down below freezing tonight. This is predicted for the next few days. I had made a Boardman style feeder with entrance at the bottom of a follower board so I could feed inside the hive. It is too cold for the bees to go to the bottom and enter the feeder. The queen is still in her cage attached to the top so they aren't going to move the cluster down. This is a new hive, 1 day old package so there is not even any comb much less stored food they can cluster around. Here is what was suggested as an immediate emergency feeding method: Space the top bars that they are clustering under, put paper towel on top of that and then mix 5lbs of sugar with a cup of water to make a paste then plaster that on top of the paper towel. They weren't happy that I separated the top bars but when I peered through the open space on the sides, they were "licking" the paper towel. My hive has a top, but spacing the top bars allows the heat generated to escape. My first thought was to put this sugar mix on the bottom, but if they aren't breaking the cluster to go into the feeder, they probably aren't going to break it to move 6 inches to the sugar below either. I also put a tarp over the hive to stop wind from getting up under the top since the bars are spaced (very windy as well today and tomorrow).
Any TBH people out there that have any suggestions???? The weather should break by the weekend rising into the upper 60s/lower 70s on Saturday. I know they wouldn't last that long if I didn't do something today.
Last edited by kpence73; 03-25-2013 at 06:48 PM.