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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We pulled 5-6 capped frames from our three hives back in the summer and put them into a freezer. We never intended to take them for ourselves but wanted to keep them as surplus for the bees. I have pulled them this morning as it is 60 degrees today and I am planning on re-inserting them into light hives to help the bees through the remainder of the cold season.

I have them sitting out in the sun right now to defrost. Are there any other steps I need to perform other than insert them into light hives immediately above the cluster once they have warmed up for a few hours?

This is our first winter so we are being somewhat cautious about trying to ensure the bees have everything they need. They are currently VERY active this morning and visiting our protein feeder, Probably 500-1000 bees on or in it!

Many thanks,
 

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I have found that the workers do a better job of cleaning out last seasons honey if you rather savagely uncap the frames especially in corners where the cells are drawn deeper than what would be used for brood. Dont worry about doing some cell damage up to 1/4 inch deep. That forces them to move and use the honey to make way for brood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have found that the workers do a better job of cleaning out last seasons honey if you rather savagely uncap the frames especially in corners where the cells are drawn deeper than what would be used for brood. Dont worry about doing some cell damage up to 1/4 inch deep. That forces them to move and use the honey to make way for brood.
Many thanks Frank. I guess I was more looking to reinsert the frames to provide food for the bees. You would still suggest uncapping the cells? I had figured letting the bees do that or I would end up with a mess. Maybe uncap some of the cells to attract them to the frame and let them uncap and eat the remainder?

Paul
 

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Lightly scratch a few cells to expose some honey. You don't want a big gooey mess dripping down on the bees. The bees will know what to do with them.

But make sure they are thawed and warm - at least to room temps - honey has a slow thermal cycle. I would have them inside, in a sunny window.

Are they also short of pollen, as well as honey? Wouldn't hurt to take a quick peek at the frames to make sure they have a supply of bee bread on hand. You can do that w/o disturbing the brood nest, just look in the outer frames. If they have no pollen, then consider pollen supplementation. Pollen availability controls the size of the build-up. And since the nurse bees need to use pollen every day to make brood food it must be in the hive on those days when the bees can't forage for fresh supplies.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lightly scratch a few cells to expose some honey. You don't want a big gooey mess dripping down on the bees. The bees will know what to do with them.

But make sure they are thawed and warm - at least to room temps - honey has a slow thermal cycle. I would have them inside, in a sunny window.

Are they also short of pollen, as well as honey? Wouldn't hurt to take a quick peek at the frames to make sure they have a supply of bee bread on hand. You can do that w/o disturbing the brood nest, just look in the outer frames. If they have no pollen, then consider pollen supplementation. Pollen availability controls the size of the build-up. And since the nurse bees need to use pollen every day to make brood food it must be in the hive on those days when the bees can't forage for fresh supplies.

Nancy
Thanks Nancy. They should be warmed now (20 mins in the IR sauna on a low setting, dont judge me ;-) ) so I will put them out there.

I will check the bee bread situation whilst out there.
 
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