What does everyone do? I am sure I will have to do something soon. Our winter has been longer and colder than usual. I have put dry sugar on my inner cover before. I am looking for something that may work better.
I'm concerned about mine as well and i see 40degrees in the forecast, so I'll be adding sugar to them at that point. I'll be adding "ultra shallow " boxes filled with sugar. I made some shim boxes that are about 3" or so deep and stapled hardware cloth to the bottom . Set newspaper on the mesh and then added my sigar mix. The sugar mix is 10# sugar, 2cups water (one pound of water) and a splash of white vinegar....maybe a tablespoon or so. I mix it up in 10# batches in a bucket for ease, but each box holds about 25# of sugar. this mixture is still kinda crumbly, but it will pack down and the next day it's hardened pretty solid. I figure this will last them through till spring no problem. Any extra can be melted down into syrup for spring feeding.
I like to use Lauri's method when I know they're low and it's going to be awhile. It's not the simplest but IMO it works very very well. I've done the mountain camp method as well and that is probably the simplest method. BeeCurious has a method where he uses the whole 5lb bag and when he showed me that seemed like a pretty brilliant twist on it as well.
You can also make 2:1 syrup and coax it into drawn comb -- usually only on one side, it pours out if you turn it over -- and put the filled frames into the hive. I forgot about this earlier when I found my bees in the top of the hive last warm day, I'd have filled that empty shallow up and put it on. Better than sugar as they have instant access to the syrup.
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