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Hello, I am going to be a new beekeeper in the spring. Looking forward to learning from the posts on here. I have 5 hives worth ordered to get me started. We tried to baby a small swarm along that we got out of a tree. I am not sure if it has survived yet or not. It is still too cold to check it.
 

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Welcome! There is a bee supply outfit in Saginaw called jtbees or something similar. I've never used them but had some conversations with the owner. I'll do business with them in the future
 

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Welcome! There is a bee supply outfit in Saginaw called jtbees or something similar. I've never used them but had some conversations with the owner. I'll do business with them in the future
J&T beekeepers. Toby is a great guy, you won't be disappointed
 

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Hi, welcome. I'm new to this forum also, but have been working to save small colonies such as yours for a couple of years. I've successfully lifted the lid for just a few seconds on many occasions without hurting the colony. My hives have an inner cover and I usually place a bottle of sugar - honey water on top of the inner cover for feeding, on such a small colony, and then an empty box on top of the cover with the lid on that. With the bottle covering all but about an inch of the inner cover hole, very little heat escapes in the 5 seconds it takes to peer through the 1 inch hole to see live or dead bees. My little swarm, last year, stayed right at the bottle, feeding clear up until I lost them the second week in March. I even placed some commercial bubblewrap (water heater insulation from lowes) on top of the inner cover and around the outside of my tiny hive last year.
If you haven't lost them already, you may want to check on them pronto to ensure they have honey. My small hives in the past have not been able to store enough before winter to make it without assistance, and struggled to move within the hive to get to their remaining honey! The bottle on top in a single location made it possible for them to survive, I believe longer, since they didn't have to move around. They just don't seem to produce enough heat to move around and reach all of their stores.
 
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