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So I am happy to say all these warm days in upstate NY has allowed my bees to take down 5 gallons of syrup. The top hive had only weighed 67 pounds so they should be good now even though I did not bother to weigh it again.

I have a vented quilt top and a 2 in insulation board in the top cover so that should take care of cold and moisture issues. These are winter hardy bees from stock that has overwintered NY winters. 馃

I just added the mouse excluder and am wondering about the size of the opening into the hive. I have it set at one inch which only allows one hole in the mouse excluder (is that what it's called??) My question is should I switch it to the 3 in opening? Or since they will be staying inside the hive pretty much hear on out the one inch is fine.
 

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6a 3rd yr 5 production hives 1/ 2 q resource hive
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I would open it up. The danger with the one inch is dead bee drop over time clogging up the entrance. Every so often I remove the mouse guard and rake out dead bees to keep entrance free so they leave unimpeded. I also have a small upper in case of blocked lower from snow or ice. Also- I continue to feed a sugar slurry through winter and also make sure they have water.

Water winter studies are the next frontier in beekeeping along with minerals.
 

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Open it up ,
Ps. M.P. uses no entrance reduction to over winter in northern Vermont only a 1/2 inch hardware cloth mouse guard
 

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that 67 lbs, was that the weight of the honey or the entire hive? even with the 5 gal of syrup, I would put on sugar on top in case they need it. was the syrup 2x1, how much sugar was in it
 

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that 67 lbs, was that the weight of the honey or the entire hive? even with the 5 gal of syrup, I would put on sugar on top in case they need it. was the syrup 2x1, how much sugar was in it
It was the weight of the upper hive, yes two sugar to one water, each gallon had a gallon of sugar and half gallon of water
 

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I would open it up. The danger with the one inch is dead bee drop over time clogging up the entrance. Every so often I remove the mouse guard and rake out dead bees to keep entrance free so they leave unimpeded.
This make perfect sense

I also have a small upper in case of blocked lower from snow or ice. Also- I continue to feed a sugar slurry through winter and also make sure they have water.

Water winter studies are the next frontier in beekeeping along with minerals.
is sugar slurry the 2-1 mix or something else? I too have a small upper opening and they are maybe 20 feet from a waterfall so water shouldn't be a problem.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Every gallon of 2:1 syrup provides approximately the equivalent of 10# of capped honey. It does not take the bees long to dry it back down as only a pint of water per gallon needs to be evaporated out.

Water for the bees can be a problem if the only available sources are frozen. Typically, enough moisture condenses on the hive walls to provide a water source in more humid environments.

I use the large opening on my entrance reducer. Last year I had one hive build a propolis curtain to close it down but all the other hives left theirs wide open. The bees will adjust the opening to their liking. Mice are not a problem here* so I would go with Deb's suggestion and use the sliding ones with holes if they are a problem in your area.

*(I have 1/2" hardware cloth just in case).
 
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This make perfect sense


is sugar slurry the 2-1 mix or something else? I too have a small upper opening and they are maybe 20 feet from a waterfall so water shouldn't be a problem.
The mix is not measured that way. It鈥檚 done as a method for cold weather feeding when its too cold for liquid feed. If I had to guess I would the concentration is higher. I鈥檓 trying to moisten it to make it easy for them to eat it. They love it.
 

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This make perfect sense


is sugar slurry the 2-1 mix or something else? I too have a small upper opening and they are maybe 20 feet from a waterfall so water shouldn't be a problem.
PS - even though you have a waterfall that may stay on all winter, be sure they can get to it frequently. We can get multiple no fly days. String enough together and I start paying attention to feeding back water.
 
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