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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After six years of trying, I have one hive that survived the winter! I peeked, they still have food, and access to water, they are flying around (mid-40’s in afternoons), central Utah. I don’t know what to do next, I’ve never had a hive survive the winter before,but I can say I’m pretty excited!!
At what point is it safe to inspect them?
 

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Utah can't be like Arizona or Florida. How long till your nectar flow starts? Until then, when it is in the mid 40's the best you can do is take a peek under the top cover and see where the cluster is. If they need additional food provide them with a candy board or use the mountain camp method. When the flow starts and they are bringing in pollen then it is time to rejoice.
To answer your original question. It depends on how much or what type of inspection you intend to do. Unless it is 60 deg., sunny with no wind, I will not open up the brood nest.
 

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I'll echo what Mike said, 60* and no, to very light wind and I still don't like pulling eggs/larva out for a length of time.

Keep eye on stores and if you start patties, stay on it until they can bring in their own.

Might want to get prepared with whatever product you will use for mites, just in-case you find you need a Spring treatment prior to the flow. Best to have it on hand, or a plan if needed than to be caught on short time.
 

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What happened to me in a similar situation was that they built up far faster than I imagined they would and I wasn't prepared to manage them. So my advice is to think through your spring strategy and your goals, and be prepared to put your plan in action sooner than you think (but do mind the weather!)
 

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While your post is humorous, I am experiencing a similar dilemma. Actually, under duress.....I will treat for mites (was attempting to stay natural) and give the girls a little feed. Though, I don’t think they “need” the feed....covering all the bases! memtb
 

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If you can get some winter patties I would suggest put that on your hive to tide them over until they are bringing in some pollen. If you can't get some then put some dry sugar on a piece of newspaper on top of the hive. Spritz a little water on the sugar so that it clumps a little but doesn't get soggy. Put the newspaper right across the frames, not so thick that the cover can't close and try not to block the inner cover hole.
 

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Put newspaper over the top frames, leaving about 1-2 inches of space all around to allow the bees to move above the newspaper. Put 4 pounds of plain sugar onto the newspaper; Close the hive back up and check it in a week to 10 days, or until the nectar flow starts. Add more sugar if needed.

Nice going and good luck.
 

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I suspect that your climate is sort of similar to mine.

How much does the hive weight? If it feels light add some stores (see above pots), otherwise just keep an eye on them until it is warm. I think we have another 1-2 months before we start having a nectar flow and your hive may be building up. I would not open up the hive beyond taking the top off to look at them until it is at least 60. If you take the top off you can look down and see where the cluster is and how much stores they have left.

Any idea what killed your hives in the past? I think knowing this will be important to knowing what you need to do differently to get hives thru the winter in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, what I did different this winter was treat for mites, sugar board, and straw bales on 3 sides and tarp over the top.
 

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@Reallymary,

Last year my wife and I visited your beautiful state the first week of October. The Rabbit Brush was in bloom, and we saw numerous honey bees working the flowers at Zion NP and Capital Reef. Back here in the east, other than near my hives we seldom saw honey bees, even near plants are known honey bee plants.

Does the Rabbit Brush yield any honey?

Phil
 
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