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Checked the hives today since my bees were flying. My hive is boiling with bees but lighter than I'd like, so I put 5 lbs of sugar and part of a protein patty on just for insurance. Fat and sassy.

Sadly, my brother found an empty hive with a small cluster of dead bees. Second deep still full of honey, so I'm suspecting either protein starvation or mites. We've lost a hive to mites in the past, and he said it appeared that some critter had bee working on the bottom deep, so might have had mice or a racoon, etc. Will check on that later, no hurry now.

Fortunately I already have bees on the way, will probably put a package of bees in that hive with a full super of honey to start them off, or use the stored for a split or for captured swarms or a cut-out we plan to do.

Very nice to lift the cover and find the hive full of bees!

Peter
 

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same here fred, hives were going nuts in 60F temps today. I added small pieces of patties last week around the inner cover hole, only the strong hives had consumed them entirely. The strong hives also started chewing the foam insulation covers too, need to wrap them in plastic before things warm up
 

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My four hives now have clear plastic inner covers. Easy to spot check in any weather for several things, honey in top frames, cluster location, activity, sugar brick and pro patty usage etc without heat balance disturbance. The bees hardly notice that I am looking. Condensation on one alerted me to poor ventilation (assumed), the hive is full of bees and only a small entrance and no vent, my fail on that so I rectified that. One hive had thrown out several larvae, what that is about I don't know, they were drones, they have recently been OA treated and are looking strong.
 

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My four hives now have clear plastic inner covers.
How did you do that?

Added some protein patties today myself though only 50 here. "Hygienic" hive succumbed to cold--premature die-off due to mite pressure. Had it been a warmer winter they would have made it (medium full of honey still). Knew it was going to happen. Never trust a cheap package from GA labeled "hygienic". Have a three box nuc that needs a home so now I don't need to procure another hive--they almost succumbed to mites last year and I'm glad I gave them the chance to come back (they are going gang busters now). Also had to add sugar to my carnis just in case. They were heavy two weeks ago but went through a lot of honey--think they have started brood production. First spring w/ carnis so this should be fun.
 
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