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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm overwintering my hives in 4 deeps. Am hoping to have large number of bees come spring for lots of splits. One of my three hives seems to be loosing lots of bees (compared to the others) it was my strongest hive going into fall. It started as a nuc in the spring and using drawn comb managed to end up with 6 deeps come fall (including 2 as the brood chamber). I stole 2 deeps to overwinter a split I had made from it earlier in the summer, so total 4 deeps left on the hive.

Yesterday was kind of mild so I went out to look at them (was about +3 celcius) and they were out buzzing around. I took some sugar and put it at the top entrance of the hives (they seem to be using the top almost exclusively). Well the little buggers started feeding on the sugar (this one hive only). I read a bit and figured I had better prepare for emergency feeding.

Here is what I did. I got an empty medium and removed the plug in the top cover (whick really is an inside) plenty of bees on the inside of the cover some even on the plug. Put the medium on top of the cover and poured sugar (about 5lbs on the top cover, put a little water on the edges of the sugar and put a new cover back on top.

I figured that it would bother the bees less than trying to get the sugar on the top bars and since they are feeding outside I figure if it's warm enough to eat then they might as well eat out of the wind.

Could they really have eaten all their honey stores (2 deeps worth)? Is this a problem leaving honey on the hive that they don't drop their numbers enough in the fall? How often should I go back and check the sugar level on the top cover?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Don't know. I can't lift them. They are wrapped with insulation, I push on them (lean them) and they seem to be about the same weight (all 3).
 
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