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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two hives i overwintered both in 2 deeps with lots of honey and bees, one hive ran out of honey by january and i fed dry sugar to keep them going, they made it though and are gathering pollen and nectar already. the other hive hardly touched the top deep and the bottom still has honey in it and they have already doubled in population and starting to draw out a super.
my question is why such a difference between these two hives? they both came from the same beekeeper and did very well over the last summer and both swarmed on me in mid summer.
 

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Was one hive more exposed to wind, or more upwind of the other? Perhaps it is more air-leaky? I think food consumption in the winter may be partly driven by the bees' needs for energy to maintain their vital cluster temperature. More wind, more air-leakage from the hive, more exposure to cold, would require more energy be expended by the bees, hence they might need to eat more. Or may be you just have gluttons?


Edited to add another thought: perhaps you don't have an identical age-assortment of bees in each hive. Perhaps one has more, or less, late hatching (younger bees) among its winter bee population. I have no idea if older - or younger - bees might require different amounts of food per bee. I know I have a definite age and size range among the bees in each hive. Some are clearly older (polished, less furry bodies) and some are cute little puppy-bees.

Enj.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Was one hive more exposed to wind, or more upwind of the other? Perhaps it is more air-leaky? I think food consumption in the winter may be partly driven by the bees' needs for energy to maintain their vital cluster temperature. More wind, more air-leakage from the hive, more exposure to cold, would require more energy be expended by the bees, hence they might need to eat more. Or may be you just have gluttons?


Edited to add another thought: perhaps you don't have an identical age-assortment of bees in each hive. Perhaps one has more, or less, late hatching (younger bees) among its winter bee population. I have no idea if older - or younger - bees might require different amounts of food per bee. I know I have a definite age and size range among the bees in each hive. Some are clearly older (polished, less furry bodies) and some are cute little puppy-bees.

Enj.
They are in identicle boxes and all were glued tight by the bees, the hive with more stores did have more moisture in it so it may have had less air flow but i have top and bottom entrances on both of them and the cover propped up a bit (its a very wet winter here and not too cold most people lose hives to moisture) I will check next time i am out and see if there are any cracks or spaces where air could be a problem.

they are side by side, and the one that ate less is in the more exposed side blocking the wind from the other, may get a bit more winter sun (dont get much of that here its always raining and foggy)

thanks for the ideas i will give it some thought to what i need to change for next winter :)
 
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