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Checked a 2 deep hive today that I thought had died out awhile ago, still has bees in it and I actually took off top cover and looked down in and didn't even see them. by tipping the hive is very lite, I;m sure there is not much honey in there. it was a queen I started last summer and did not build up enough to fill 2nd deep. I did feed some syrup with jar on top method, so they did take in alittle. heres the question, do I try and separate the deeps hoping they are not in both and feed mt camp on a single deep, or can I put winter patty and dry sugar on paper on top bars of the 2nd deep and hope they can get up there before starving. temp tomorrow is going to be in the 20s. just can't stand to not try and save them.
 

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I believe I would at least feed them syrup. If possible let the temp rise before putting it on. I find the daily warm ups allow them to feed during the warmer part of the day anyway. If it is super cold, I don't believe they can take it in anyway. When weather permits, you can go in and may find some empty frames top and bottom, possibly find you can get it down to 10 that are being used, and end up with one deep. I have a similar situation and I think our weather temps are pretty much the same, usually. However mine is a strong colony and the queen was laying strong until the really cold weather last week. I am leaving both deeps in place, since I would probably have to put it back in a few days.
 

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Pull the frames out of the top deep, put the paper on, you may have to smoke them down. If they fly on you there are more than you think. Add on a little sugar, mist and add more dry. Make the paper sweet not wet or just make the paper damp before opening hive. Throw some rags on the sugar if you do not have a piece of insulation.
if you find they are on the top frames too, I would just drop a little dry right on them to get them something and then put the main sugar on top, they will follow the trail up if there are enough of them to move.
pouring dry mostly into the next empty frame and a little on them should work also.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks salytbee, I thought about just pouring little sugar down between frames, but thought it might go clear down to bottom board and they wouldn't get it anyway, but I see your point on getting them to follow to sugar and patty on top of 2nd deep, if they don't have any feed anyway, it's worth a try. Just didn't want to pull the 2 deeps apart incase I would brake what cluster there was.
 

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My apologies Beefarmer, glad you listened to the better advice from Saltybee. I was thinking for some strange reason you were in Mobile Alabama, must of been reading too many post tonight. Your comment about the temp being in the twenties wasn't sounding right, now I see why. Good luck with the hive.
 

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Double checking, I would leave the hive body in place and pull frames starting away from the cluster. Slide easily to the side and peak before pulling.
 

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This situation is exactly why I prefer to winter (in the mid south though) in what is essentially a single - two mediums. But that's not the point. If you think there could be brood in both boxes you could remove a side frame or two to make room for a frame of honey right next to the cluster - if you have a frame of honey.
 
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