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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I overwintered my first hive as a single. I don't know how it survived, but I am so pleased that it did. There was no time last season for the second deep to get drawn out so it was wintered as a single. Winter really does not seem to want to let go but temps are finally starting to creep up. Today is upper 40s to very low 50s. This weeks highs are predicted to be near and in the 50s. I really want to hold off adding the super until the temps climb and steady there. I don't want to go in and do an evasive inspection and start pulling any frames to put up top yet. My concern? Swarming obviously. I dont want to lift and check for swarm cells until the temps improve. Am I panicing prematurely?

Thanks
todd
 

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Depends on how packed with bees and honey your single is! If you have dandelions and fruit trees blooming and every frame is covered with bees, it is time to take a look! It is more important to give you single a lift to see if it is lite and to pull outside frames enough to see if you have a couple frames of honey. If you don't have that couple of frames of reserve, it is time to get some syrup on them. That thriving colony of yours could starve to death in such a hurry.

If you have a box jammed full of bees, it is time to set up your second box and quickly pull a center frame, drop in a foundationless or frame with foundation in the bottom box and set your second story with foundation tight around your frame of brood on top. That can be done in under two minutes. On a sunny, non windy day in the upper forties, that is not hazardous to the colony. I advise pulling an outside frame first and sliding four frames toward the vacancy before pulling the frame to be removed into the open before lifting straight up. Have a definite plan and plan to do it quickly.

Congratulations on getting your colony thru a rough winter. Now don't let them starve or swarm because you are afraid to open up and look.
 

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I always overwinter a few single deeps. Im quite a bit south of you but I have no trouble overwintering them here. They will starve however when they start spring buildup. If their light and the temps are too cold for syrup I'll put some damp sugar on the top bars.

As soon as the temps are getting in the 50s on a regular basis I'll start feeding 1/1 to jump start buildup.
As far as adding the second box. I like to see the box pretty full of bees and several frames of capped brood. This brood will all be hatched in 9 days or less. Each frame of capped brood will make around two frames of bees.

So when your box is pretty crowded and you have 4 or 5 frames of capped brood your population will near double in the next few days.

I like to add my second box about this time or just before but not too long before. This will usually happen before the flow starts otherwise they would be prone to swarm.

Do it too early and the extra space seems to set them back a little.

I checked mine this weekend and their not quite ready yet. Probably be two more weeks. I have quite a bit of brood but a lot of eggs. These will hatch in three weeks. They'll need a box before then.
Hope this helps.
Woody Roberts
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your responses. I should have mentioned that I have fed dried sugar to the top bars and misted with water. I moved the hive last week and it was quite heavy on 1 side. Starvation is not much of a concern at this point. But I do really have to check the population I suppose. Ill wait just another few days for the weather to calm down a bit.
 
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