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On one of my hives I added a sugar cake on the top bars. I have a 1" space rim. It was nearly gone a week or so ago and I want to add another. I've done this by quickly tipping up one end of the cover just enough to slip in the cake. Last time the bees were done between the frames.

This time they were clinging to the underside of the cover so when I tipped it up the cluster was right there and several bees got out. So I quickly put it back down.

I'd really like to get another sugar cake in there. Is smoke the best way to get them back down between the frames?

Thanks
 

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Hi Frank,

I'm i nthe same boat, but I'll be adding another shim box to all of my hives. these shim boxes have 25# of sugar in them, so they should carry them through till spring. I know my bees are going to be up into the sugar and all over the quilt box that i have above them. My plan is to lift the quilt box slightly and drop it down. the jaring action should get most of the bees off the quilt box. if any stragglers are there, I'll have to brush them off and onto the current cluster of bees. I'll then add the shim box with sugar candy, and reassemble the top of the hive.

I would be in a lot better place if i had put the inner cover above the food and the quilt box above that, but i didn't. You shouldn;t have too much trouble getting the bees off of the inner cover.

I'm planning to do my work on Monday as it'll be 33degrees, which is the warmest weve seen in quite some time. Good luck to you, and let us know how it goes for you
 

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Frank,

I think/hope the worst of the cold weather ended this morning. Just because they have eaten all the sugar does not mean they are out of stores. It could be that they have eaten the sugar before all the honey. We are supposed to have some warmer temperatures soon. I would not want to mess around with the cluster when it is this cold. You could try slip in smaller pieces around the cluster if you feel like you have to do something. As temps get into the 40's the cluster will loosen up some. In central Ohio we are forecasted to have 50's next week.

tom
 

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We were -8 this morning, luckily no wind at all. I wrote it down on the calendar because I'm hoping this will turn out to be the last coldest night we have the rest of the way till spring. I put more sugar on some hives the other day when it was sunny and mid-20's, no wind.
 

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Is the cluster to moved more towards one side than the other? If so place sugar cake from the side they're away from. With a 1" spacer you shouldn't have to life the cover much. Depending on the temperate the bees will be clustered tighter (or less so). I'm not saying expose them on a 0 degree day but they can manage a few short seconds of cold (the exposure from you lifting the cover 2" and slipping in the sugar cake).

I've quickly inserted a sugar cake at 30-40 degrees and had no issues. Just to clarify I'm tipping the inner cover just barely enough to slip in the brick and closing it up. When I'm concerned of the cluster's positioning I use cut the bricks smaller, push them as close as I can to the cluster and let them do the rest.

Also, BeeCurious's method is even better (sorry I didn' see that first). They'll come up for it. I've seen it in action.
 
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