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Discussion Starter #1
I am recouping from hand surgery so I can't do a lot myself. I pulled up the tops on most of my hives. To my surprise some of them had the bees i n the top box next to the IC.

What does this mean?

Are the girls out of food already?

Do I need to get someone to add sugar syrup cans to the top of the hives?

Have never used the Mtn Top Method. Or is it too late?
 

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I recently read in another thread bees won't take sugar syrup unless the temperature of the syrup is above 50 degrees. Read some of the posts about the mountain camp method of feeding dry sugar.
 

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dude i had the same fear last months so i tore into them and made shuer thay had 2 med full of hony on top. guess what thay still seemed to stay up top. but when the real cold hit, like teens at night i looked in the bottem board and thay had moved to the bottem. the hive is still real heavy. how cold has it been getting there at night?maby not cold enough to make them stay in cluster all day. if thay how hevy is the hive when you tip it foward alittle?
 

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It doesn't necessarily mean that you're running low on stores. Most of the time, my bees are up high even through the winter. You really need to "heft" a hive to know about the stores. Feeding sugar won't hurt if you're worried about it though. Syrup will be fine if the temps are up high enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
While I can't really lift up on them now, They had stores when Inopened them up earlier. I was also contantstly feeding the sugar syrup from a 5-gallon bucket near the hives.

We are just now getting to where we are having 20 something degree nights most nights now with the highs in the forties. Prior to that the lows were in the upper 30's and highs in the 50's & low 60s..

The Reason I worry is that most of my hives are from swarms, cutouts a d trapouts. The hives that I made from splits seem to be doing great.
 

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Here's my thoughts on the situation. With low's in the 20's at night, and daytime temps in the 40's I'll bet that syrup will be pretty much ignored. It might be worth a shot but mine left the syrup alone when the cold nights set in. So, if you can't get them liquid, and since you're worried about food to burn, that leaves you with dry sugar or fondant. Dry sugar is the easiest but fondant and candy boards work quite well. I'd get someone to help, pick a sunny, calm day and pull the covers. Drop newspaper on top of the bars, add at least five pounds of sugar over the newspaper and wrap them up. Even better if you can get some ventilation going to boot. You may still worry but you've done about as much as you can and it won't hurt at all. Sit back, ponder spring and recover! Get well soon!!!
 

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Most of my hives spend the winter in the top box. Always have. When I had bottom entrances. When I moved to top entrances. It seems to be the norm around here. I would consider the issue of readiness for winter the weight of the hive, not the location of the cluster.
 
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