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Discussion Starter #1
Both hives were weak going into Winter after some late season swarming. I left all the honey in the hive and added a packed candy board to each hive. I peaked in through the top of the candy board today and I see bees moving in each hive. They were packed together pretty tight and the ones that I saw near the top were moving around the candy board. However they were moving very slowly. At least half speed or less than normal. Temps were in the mid to upper 40s today with sun and a decent wind blowing. My question is this: Is the slow motion moving to be expected? I saw a video the other day someone posted of their hives at 42 degrees and they had bees flying out and around the hive entrance. No activity outside mine today. Are living bees all I need to see when temps are in this range? I have done so many things to help them make it through Winter that I would hate to lose them so close to the weather changing. I see sugar scraps on the bottom board so I know they are eating the candy board. Should I be concerned? I guess at this point there isn't much I can do. Spring should be here in a few weeks time. What do you think?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Bees moving slowly in 40 degree weather is not uncommon. And yes, all you can do is check that they are alive and have adequate stores. You may want to add some pollen patty. Bees need carbs (sugar) to stay warm, but they need protein (pollen) to live and reproduce. Too often beekeepers focus on just the sugar and neglect the pollen, to the detriment of their bees. Check the activity again when the temps are 50 and above. You should see foraging and cleansing flights taking place. If not, you may have trouble bringing the hives through March.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply. I have some granular pollen substitute a local supply place recommended to me. I am guessing since it is granular I can't just pour it into a small pile on top of the candy board.... or can I? He recommended placing it outside the hives so they can grab some but that would require the weather to be nice enough that they would be leaving the hive. Would a small pile on the hardened sugar work?
 

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That dry sub can likely be made into a patty using 1:1 syrup, just enough to make it stiff dough"y"
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I place my patties directly on the top bars with wax paper on top to help hold in the moisture. .
 

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I place my patties directly on the top bars with wax paper on top to help hold in the moisture. .
Same here and if you add the wax paper after rolling in out, it is easier to handle and keep separated as well imo. Front and back and you can freeze a few for later easily too.
 

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It also makes a difference in your hive location and orientation as to whether or not the bees are more active in the hive or will get out and fly during "warmer" weather. If your hives are in the shade during the warm/sunny times of the day, they often will not get out and fly. Likewise if the entrance doesn't get direct sunlight during those same hours of the day they often don't recognize the warmer weather. Just a thought. My bees love the full sun and the ones that get the most seem to always do the best.
 
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