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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The weather here in Northern Utah is terribly cold. We haven't had a warm enough day to open my hives for a quick check. I do have a "peek hole" in the top of 2 of my 3 hives and took a quick peek today. The bees are at the top of the second brood chamber and I am worried they will quickly run out of honey stores.

I need any type of input as to what you all think I should do. The weatherman said another 10 days of cold (35-49 degrees during the day).
HELP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
SORRY DOUBLE POST
 

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There are many here who are more experienced than I am, but some beekeepers in this area make frames of fondant and place them above the cluster. The bees move into these stores much as they would honey. I have a page about making them at

http://www.tonitoni.org/photos17.html

The benefit here is that you can just pop the top, place a super full of frames, and close it again. You also have the option of making "cakes" or disks of the stuff and placing it above the cluster.

The downside of using frames is that you can only put the fondant on one side of each frame: if you try to put the candy on a second side, the first side falls off.

The bees around here have taken the stuff readily. I think there are other recipes out there, too. I'd google "bee candy" or "bee fondant"

Hope this helps!
 

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You have to access their food supply first. If they will be runing out, then feed directly over cluster with warm 2:1 feed, with some type of insulation around feed container with hive shell and top around that. If that is not practical then pour sugar around hole in board above cluster with shell and cover on it.
Walt
 

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How cold?? Getting down to -1F here tonight.

If you feed dry sugar.... Place it on a single thickness of newspaper over the cluster.
 

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Cold??? Minus 25 c here last night (-12F).Wrapped and closed hives up last Oct. Hoping it gets warm enough sometime this month to check them.Last time I visited them was early Feb. and all hives had a few bees around the top entrance. It was close to o c (32 F) that day.
 

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After years of practice, you can tell a lot by just lifting the back of your hive. Try it now. It's a great time to start learning this trick. Maybe even compare the weight to something. Your two year old, two spare tires, three bowling balls, a bale of hay.

Here's the hard part, it's your job to know how long until flying weather. I know, you're not a weatherman. It would take witchcraft, etc.

Just pick a date and keep records year to year. If you know how long you have to feed them, then you know how much fondant they need.

Hawk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your replies.
This year is an abnormal year for the weather. We usually start warming up by now.
This morning I woke up to 5 more inches of snow and the weather man says storms will continue for the next 14 days!
 

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Around here, in Northern California, the weatherperson when forecasting beyond the next 24hrs, is right less than 50% of the time, which makes flipping a coin more accurate.
 

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Actually, now that I think about it, the only weather forcaster who was right on the money this year was Punxsutawney Phil.
 

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I'd lift the back of the hive and if it's heavy (very hard to lift) it's probably not a problem. If it's light (like about the equivalent of empty boxes) then they are about to starve. If it's somewhere in between then they have SOME stores, but perhaps not enough.

Sugar on the top of paper on top of the top bars, or baggie feeders on the top bars are usually take well by the bees in cold weather, where any other feeder usually isn't.
 
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