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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did an inspection of the hive I have in my back yard this past Saturday (outside temp was around 68). I found 8 deep frames of bees, of which better than half had at least 50% coverage of brood, quite a bit of Drone brood also. Balance was honey and pollen. This colony has had a medium super with undrawn foundation sitting on top of it with no activity. I have been feeding them syrup (1:1) and some Megabee since late January. The bees have been flying heavily and bringing in pollen pretty much all of February. I added some drawn brood foundation after the inspection to try and entice the queen to begin laying in the medium super (I want to eventually get rid of the existing deep. Since Saturday, the bees have begun filling the medium brood foundation with syrup, but no brood (checked yesterday).

The temps here are supposed to dip down to about 30 tonight and tomorrow night. I am concerned that the existing brood may get chilled these next two nights of cold weather. Is this really a concern or not? If so, Can I add a 25 watt bulb in an empty super placed on top of the existing setup to help maintain temperatures in the hive, or just let nature take it’s course?
 

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If you are really concerned which it appears that you are, the most I would do is reduce the entrance down to an inch or so by using a piece of wood, if it is expected to warm up nicely during the day just leave the reducer on at night only during the cold spell. It sounds to me like the bees have everything under control though, if they have 8 deep frames of brood they must have enough bees to keep the brood warm anyways. Forget about the light bulb idea, that would be overkill IMO. Good Luck. John
 

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If you are really as concerned like heat from a light, have your wife knit an Afghan out of Inner Mongolian Cashmere to insulate the hive. A few bags of leaves or straw will do but the Afghan would show the bees how much you really care. Seriously, this is the time of year we learn patience and hope we fed them enough earlier. We all want rapid buildup but not so early that they build up their numbers to quick and freeze.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't know, that "Inner Mongolian Cashmere" might have been exposed to some chemicals of some kind, who knows what the dye will have in it. Probably carrying some of those dreaded IMFB spores (Inner Mongolian Foul Brood).;) I guess they will just have to get along as they always do. I would like to think that the cold would get rid of some SHB, but know they will be hiding in the cluster.

Seemed like I had seen somewhare that some did add some heat source to nucs occasionally. This hive is strong, so I am not overly worried, worse that will happen would be the loss of an outside frame of capped brood, and that is unlikely.
 

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I have seen bees lay more brood than they can keep warm, but Its rare. Last time in happen in central FL we had a frost in may. We are having one of those "rare" winters, but your probably safe. Block the wind, that takes away more heat than anything.
 

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Not to be mean but to be truthful...bees have lived in the wild for years....your worrying about nothing. Dont make a mountain out of a mole hill! Think of all the beekeepers who have 100's to 1000's of colonies....how would they put a heater in every one??? And since yours is strong..even less to worry!
 

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I have my bees NE of you and they are 5 and 6 frames of brood. and it has been getting down in the thirtys and they are doing good. they will be fine i wouldnt put the heat on them. you may do more harm then good. if they have that many frames of brood then they should have enough bees to cover it ....David
 

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Chill (no pun intended) - try dealing with the cold as far north as Georgia. Most of the bees know what to do.
 

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I saw about 10 bees that made it almost 4 feet from the hives in the past week that landed in the snow. We have not had any flying for 3 months. Come on summer.. Tony
 
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