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Discussion Starter #1
My bees overwintered fine. They have been flying this past week in mass. It's been wonderfully warm. They went into winter with two deeps, lots of capped honey etc. I mountain fed them in Jan or Dec. Last week I gave them syrup. Today I had the first chance to open up the hive. There is nothing in the bottom other than drawn frames. The top has a wee bit of capped honey and some pollen. I even saw a few eggs, larva etc. Saw two SHB, smashed them and lots of bees, lots and lots of bees. It's not warm enough for them to finding nectar or a lot of pollen. They are bringing in some pollen. I decided to shrink them down to one deep. Keeping the "brood area" and capped honey but removing the completely empty deep. Did I make a mistake? There are a lot of ladies to be crammed into one deep but it is half empty. The frames are drawn out. I cleaned out the screened bottom board it was covered with shredded paper from the Mountain feeding and a few bodies, less than I'd thought I'd see. Have I goofed? Should I put the empty back?
 

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I probably would have placed the empty box on top of the other box, but it probably won't make that big of a difference if you get back to the hive before they really start to expand.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was concerned that with another cold snap they would have trouble staying warm... Silly I guess since they made it this far.
 

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I think you done exactly right. I do the same thing.It helps to keep them warm and will help then to get a early start. It's the same reason that you would start them in a five fram nuc.:thumbsup:
 

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Bees warm the cluster, not the hive. If you have taken off their expansion area then you better keep a close eye on the bees so they don't get too crowded and swarm on you. Giving them lots of room keeps the swarming down. Either way as long as you keep an eye on them it won't hurt...if you throw on the top body you won't have to check them as often as they have lots of room.
 

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I am not talking warming the cluster I'am talking keeping the brood warm and i can be done easier with less room. Just keep watch because they will take off fast.
 

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Bees warm the cluster, not the hive.
Actually, the heat lost from the cluster is proportional to the area of exposed surfaces. The more boxes, the greater the surface area, the more heat lost, the more energy it takes to keep the cluster warm. Having said that, if there are a lot of bees in that box and they'd survived so far with two boxes, they probably would have done fine with the empty added to the top. By the way, I would think that they would be producing some brood by now...mine have been for at least a month and we aren't a month ahead of you....I wouldn't think.
 

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I flipped mine out today. Same situation as yours. If your foragers are coming and going (mine were) they might be bringing in nectar or pollen, mine were but I am probably 75-100 miles south of you.
When I did do a good look I saw plenty of bees with pollen on their legs and lots of cells starting to get filled with nectar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I opted to put the empty deep back on the ladies. The maples have popped and we are surrounded by them. I don't want the bees to run out of room for storage I decided to play it safe.
 
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