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I am going to feed mountain camp style before it starts to get cold here. However This Thursday is the only day in the 10 day forecast where it will be above 50 degrees but it is to be cloudy. I know its better on a bright sunny day but will popping the top on a cloudy day above 50 be bad? Will it be more bad for me as the keeper or the bees?
 

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Its already cold there! I would wait till it gets a little warmer, like around high 50s. You will get a few days like that. Why risk chilling your bees, breaking the propolis seal and exposing them, etc. in the cold?
 

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Carefully take off the cover and put on your sugar. If they need it they need it. Waiting and allowing them to starve will kill them. If you want it on for insurance it could of already been done.
 

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Here's a post from BLine - spend some time at http://www.honeybeeworld.com

He keeps bees in Canada.

"I continue to wait for those free 50 degree days. Is there any way I can inspect my hives in winter on days lower than 50?

I gather you are not too experienced and have concerns about opening hives on cold days. That is wise.

Personally, I will open a hive to look in on top in any weather that is not windy or snowing. My hives are wrapped, though, and I don't look long -- and I re-establish the seal by closing the wraps.

If your hives are not wrapped, you could break the seal opening the hive, and a crack the size of a matchstick (1/16") all around the rim adds up to something like a four square inch area, so you might want to tape the crack after or think better of the idea.

As for how long and how deep to look, I would recommend against pulling frames, although experienced beekeepers pull a frame or two when warranted. There can be a reduced wintering success from even such minor manipulations, though, so don't do it unless the bees are obviously starving and you have some feed combs.

A minute or two of observation without disturbance other than lifting the lid won't hurt them at all.

Basically, if you look in, satisfy yourself that the bees are there and alive and in a cluster. Look down beside the top bars to see if there is capped feed. If it is a cold day and the bees are active, they may be running low on feed. If they are in a cluster the size of a volleyball or so, and just moving their butts slowly with their stingers out, then all is probably just fine."
 

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I put my sugar on about a month ago (Thanksgiveing week) the bees had not clustered yet and some came to greet me :lookout:I just put the paper on them in a hurry so they couldnt see me :D and poured the sugar slowly as the weight gets on the paper they will get out of the way :rolleyes:
 

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I put sugar on this morning -- 39 degrees and not much sun. The bees stayed down in the hive and didn't seem interested in breaking their cluster when I took off the inner cover. Probably I was in there three minutes from start to finish.

Debbie
 

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I used to be pretty squeamish about opening the hive under the magic temperature of 60 degrees.

Then one spring I made it back to a remote bee yard and I found one hive with the top totally blown off--the top, the inner cover and two masonry bricks placed to keep the lid on.

The hive survived just fine. The bees were clustered about 1/2" under the top bars, and needless to say, I put the top back on! I had no idea how long they were exposed.

I've been out the past two days doing the Mountain Camp method. The highs barely reached 39 degrees, but previous inspections showed lower than expected stores and warm temperatures earlier this fall seemed to accelerate the consumption.

I figured I really had no choice as we are gearing up for our first round of snow, with falling temperatures. I merely popped the lid, added a shim, tucked in a sheet of newspaper and added about ten pounds of dry sugar.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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I didn't finish sugaring my light hives until the last of Nov, early Dec. Just yesterday we had a day around 30 degrees F and I popped the tops of some of the sugared hives to check to see if they were in the sugar yet. Not yet....and they are alive and well.
 
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