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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As you can probably tell from my title, I am new to beekeeping.

I bought a hive last year and went into the winter with two hive bodies and two supers on my hive. I did NOT remove any honey as it was the first year and I was unsure of how much to take or leave.

So, my hive made it through a long hard winter here in the Northeast (New Hampshire) and in checking the hive yesterday, I noticed virtually all the honey stores gone and a lot of bees in all 4 boxes. They are flying in an out and seem to be thriving, but here are my questions:

1. Should I feed? We still have snow on the ground and I don't see anything green yet!
2. With the bees in all 4 boxes, should I leave the hive alone and just add supers as the summer progresses? Seem like my hive will get huge and unworkable.
3. Anything else I am missing?

Thank you for any help.
 

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if there's no flow on and they have lots of bees and no stores you'd better feed. Is there a flow? Is there nectar coming in? Is there any nectar in any of the frames? Bees usually prefer nectar to sugar water, so if you offer it and they take it, they needed it. Given that spring hasn't arrived yet there I'd feed.

don't add more boxes than they can occupy. If it gets too big (we should all have such problems), then split it.
 

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>1. Should I feed? We still have snow on the ground and I don't see anything green yet!

If they have no honey and nothing is blooming, they will starve if you don't.

> 2. With the bees in all 4 boxes, should I leave the hive alone and just add supers as the summer progresses? Seem like my hive will get huge and unworkable.

Bees don't tend to go down if you keep adding space at the top. They will go down if you don't but seeing if they moved down is problematic with four boxes. I assume the two "Hive bodies" are deeps? And the two "supers" are mediums? Or shallows? If you want your brood in the deeps this is a bit of a problem as you probably need to let them push the queen down with honey overhead but it's hard to tell when you run out of room when the box you need to look in is at the bottom. Some of this can be fixed with two people if one of you tips the hive and the other uses a mirror to look at the bottom of the bottom box to see if the bees have moved into it. If the boxes were all the same size, I'd probably move the empty ones to the top so I could see when they were being filled and know when to add supers without having to dig down to see the bottom box...

3. Anything else I am missing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you BeeTech and Michael Bush for replying. Today, I put a feeder on and started feeding.

@Michael Bush, yes, I have two deep hive bodies on the bottom and two medium supers on top of them. I will attempt your suggestion with the mirrors at some point! We are due to get snow tomorrow and it will be cold for several days so it will be a while before I look in on them again.

Thank you again.
 

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Depending on the temperature they may not take syrup..... If that is the case where it is still too cold you may want to feed dry sugar or sugar bricks.....
 
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