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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

As i said before, todya was supposed to be warm enough for me to go check my hive. Its my first wintering so you can imagine how good of a husband I am trying to be...LOL. Any, I opened the top of my hive and I would almost bet that are just as many bees as I had during a warm October as I had today. They were not happy, but i needed (for my sanities sake i think) to get a gauge on how they were doing. Anyway, they seem to be doing amazing. There are bees everywhere, on almost every frame. They are bringing in an orange pollen. That being said, do I need to watch them more closely with there being that much of a population. I want to make sure they make it through winter, and Ill bet that the hive weighs at least 80 lbs. I work out every day and that thing is not light at all, which is a good sign. with that many bees, I would think they would be eating more. Weather has been really cool down here for the last few weeks, which would slow them down a bit. Should I go ahead and use the MCM and throw some sugar on. I was truly amazed at seeing that many bees. Thanks for the help!:lookout:
 

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With my top honey dome, I'm not needing to feed, nor are they taking it, but found out that the dry sugar really helps with moisture, if nothing else. As crappy as our weather has been.
 

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What is a honey dome? It was 32 here this a.m. and 58 when i pulled off the top cover and there was no moisture.....I have been tempted to go ahead and add suagr and I may. We are leaving for a week and I wont be able to check in on them.....
 

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Adding sugar will NOT hurt and could help a lot if they are getting close to running out of honey.
 

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29 here this morning, couple of bees were flying late this afternoon when I checked.

Go to Beekeeping home page and do a search on honey dome - you'll get lots of answers. I wouldn't worry about 1 week away - what can you do anyway?

Check the bottom side of your IC the next time you're in and feel for moisture, or check for mold. With such a great temp difference between the cluster and the outside air, moisture has to escape. If you're dry, then your hive is breathing right.

I have a 2" box above my top hive and below my top vent box that I use to house (space out) dry sugar in the mountain camp method - it seems to really help with my moisture.

If you haven't read about honey dome, it might be important to check it out - may help prevent a swarm next year.
 

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I don't "notice" much of a change in the amount of honey in a hive (weight) until January-March and it accelerates during that time. It is like they know that they need to save and be thrifty with it at the start of winter.

I am not sure that I have ever opened a hive from the first of November until about the first of February. I look at the tray in the SBB to see how many frames of bees I have, lift the back of the hive to feel the weight and check the landing for some (12-20) dead bees. I always like to see some there because it seems that is the sign of a healthy hive. Other than that I leave them alone.

I guess I have opened hives that were dead-outs, or I thought that they were, during that time. I haven't lifted any of mine yet. I will probably start in January and then keep checking until good flying weather is consistent.
 
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