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After looking into my dead hive I noticed that bees made it to the top of the bottom frames eating all the honey on that frames. However, they never made it to the upper frames where there was plenty of honey. I guess this is because the gap between top frames and bottom frames is too big for the bees to cross during cold times.

Maybe I should have insulated the top better, move the hive to the sun out of the wind prevailing wind, and fill the empty space in the hive.
 

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Bridgecomb full of honey would have been nice to avoid that but the cluster was probably small. Those are the strugglers that die on the lower box top bars in my hives. They just do not generate enough heat to carry them across that topbar. What you describe is why I do not scrape off bridge comb between boxes. But I have noticed on several occasions where fairly strong colonies refused to chew thru the newspaper they died against with ten pounds of sugar laying on top of it. Insulating at very least the top of the hive and some solar gain on warm days are indeed things to reflect on over the summer.
 

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Every hive has the same or similar gaps that yours does. Healthy bees with adequate cluster size and low mite counts are very good at moving to honey stores between boxes. Small clusters of bees with mite and/or queen issues tend to freeze out.
 

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I have never had bees get stuck in the bottom box but I usually have them well fed to a target colony weight 125 lbs for double deeps.

The bees should not have to jump any gaps with these fellows. They fit a pair of stacked medium bodies. Hope to have bees on them come next winter
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Hi Vance
I disagree with the following statement.

They just do not generate enough heat to carry them across that top bar.

Every Hive I have that make it thru winter, And I would imagine other Lang hive keepers have bees that can cross the bar.

IMO if a hive is about to die then they expire at the top bar, in a deep comb hive they would have died anyway up the comb another inch or so.
Not likely so many folks would still have the Lang boxes if the crossing was that difficult.

IMO what is seen is a weak hive expiring at the top bar. The top bar is not the cause it is the stopping point.

I'll grant that if it is -30 then moving over the gap is difficult. stronger hives or better insulation can help.

GG
 
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