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to feed them all winter, you will need a feeding system where they can get to the feed without crawling away from the overwintering cluster. Jar top feeders work great for this, there may be others that I haven't used. Any top or entrance feeder where they have to crawl away from the cluster usually dosen't work for feeding in the winter.
 

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I would use it as an observation hive. Find a place to keep where you can enjoy all winter and have outside access. There is an article in ABJ sometime in the past couple of months on how to winter your observation hive. With a feeder and your somewhat mild winters you might be OK. Other than that I'm with Michael, top feeding over the winter is your best (and possibly only) other option.
 

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Depends on the breed and the winter. Some breeds will fly every day that the temps are high enough. Say, around 50 F. If you get enough of those you may have pollen and nectar all through winter also. Not real likely but possible. If you were lucky enough to combine that with zero days below 10-20 F. then you could get through winter with what you have. What kine of winter are you expecting?

Best of luck,

Hawk
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>so how many extra frames of brood do you think I need to be able to get this hive to make it through the winter?

That's probably best answered by someone from North Carolina. I'm sure I don't know enough about your climate in relation to bees to guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I just contacted Larry Green, the president of my local beekeepers association, and he said that he was unaware of anyone currently that would be willing to sell me some brood frames. He suggested that I feed the bees with a thicker concentration of sugar syrup along with pollen patties. He also said that the next local beekeepers meeting is this tuesday, and he'll ask if anyone can spare some frames of brood then.
 

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Hi Special,
You would need at least 4 more (8 more sides) of brood frames. The cluster size doesn't have to be that big, but you need young bees going into winter. Feed 1:1 to stimulate brood rearing through Oct 15 then go to 2:1. If you can't find frames with brood, then next best is fully drawn comb (not plastic).

An alternative to consider: Let another beek combine your two frames with a strong NUC for overwintering. In early March you get your two frames of brood back with your queen.

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks db_land. I found a guy willing to sell me drawn out comb over the internet, but I was skeptical on the chances of diseases. The guy got them through a comercial beekeeper, and he said that he wasn't sure if any of the hives had foulbrood, either european or american. I decided that I didn't want to chance it, and I had a better odds taking my chances on overwintering. As for finding somone to combine my two frames with some of theirs that would be awsome, but I'm not sure if I know of anyone else. I used to take classes with the NC State Apiculture program, so I asked if there was anything they could do to help me out. I doubt that there will be, but I hope.
 

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Is the queen laying well? If so, I think you have time. How cold do you expect to get? When will it drop to 50 daytime? As others have said, feed heavily, 1:1 or better. Keep them in a 4-5 frame box until they fill it. Keep an entrance reducer on them to prevent robbing. Don't try to get them to draw plastic foundation this year, stay on wax or empty frames (my favorite) if you don't have drawn frames, or order a few frames of fully drawn plastic that they can use right now.
 

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Hi Special,
I live outside Ashboro, about 55 miles from Raleigh. I have a hive of about 5 or 6 frames of brood I was going to combine with a strong hive, but if you need them and are willing to drive, I would consider letting them go. PM me if you are interested.
 
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