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We are deep in the New England winter here. I am a first-year beekeeper, with 2 hives in my backyard, a green hive and brown hive (I am very uncreative in naming my hives!).

I noticed early in the winter that my brown hive looked like it had died. Tapping the side yielded no buzz of annoyance, and I never saw any bees. Others told me to not count them out yet, and I was just going to leave the hive alone over the winter and take care of things in the spring.

This weekend the temperatures got in the mid 40s' (F) and I decided to add some dry sugar to the top of my green (functioning) hive (mountain camp method). I opened up the green hive and we greeted with a healthy cluster of bees right at the top of the bars. After adding the sugar, I thought, what the heck, I'd look at the brown hive again.

I opened up the top of the brown hive, and saw no bees (like usual). I decided to separate the two hive bodies a little to see what I could see, and when I did, I saw bees! There was about a canteloupe-sized cluster at the top of the bars in the bottom box. I quickly set the box back down and went in and got my 2nd shim to add sugar to that hive as well, just in case they needed it. When I was adding the shim, I saw a few bees poking their heads up at me on the top bars of the top hive body.

So if luck is with me, that hive may make it through the winter!

Here's what I blogged about (with some pictures): http://stevensbees.blogspot.com/2010/01/food-for-thought-and-for-bees.html

Here are my 2 hives in the snow back in December: http://stevensbees.blogspot.com/2009/12/snow-day.html

-- Steven
 

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was 68 here today, opened the top just to look see and was accosted....lol. Hive still weighs about 60 lbs. Added sugar via MCM anyway.
 

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I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. I checked mine this weekend and lost one have three left. Put sugar on them and one came out to say hi and stung me on the thumb-ungrateful wench.:D
 
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