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Newbee here.
First winter. I have one hive. 8 frame. Two deep brood one shallow super.
I have the inner cover ventilated 1/4 of an inch. Also have a screened bottom board with and entrance reducer.

My question is should I have the removable tray in place below the screened bottom board? I understand that ventilation is very important. But today is a bitter cold and very windy day. Would that wind find its way into the hive?
I thank you all in advance for your impute
Betty
 

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Make sure you have a good wind break and go ahead and put in tray for the winter, if yoy have two deeps on and the top deep is full of honey i would take off supper or if your hive is light leave on but make sure your queen excluder is off so your bees and queen can get to honey! Because your bees will move up and if they do not have alot of stored honey consider a candy board, good insurance for the bees to have food, lots of luck
 

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Yes. Must have in place. Something that should have been done two months ago when things get colder outside. Don't touch any of the hive components since the weather had gone bad. You could kill them. This is one of those situations where the bees should have done the right amount of work to help them through the winter months. Like mine, I'll have to wait until spring to see if they did OK. In the mean time, have a cup of Java and read about something else. And boy-o-boy, hold onto your hat ! It's gusty !
 

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I don't always put the tray in place. Most of my hives winter over with a completely open SBB. If I have a weak hive, I might slide the tray in. Everyone is different. I like wind breaks and I believe that makes a big difference.
 

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The hive I was given this Fall spent its last 4 winters in the middle of an open field with some sumac and bittersweet bushes growing around the back as a windbreak. It had a completely open bottom screen board all that time, propped up on cement blocks around its edges, summer and winter, and no winter wrap around the hive. It had a small top hole/vent/entrance and its main bottom entrance was left completely open (un-reduced) as well. It survived very well that way with almost no beekeeper management. Just giving this as an interesting example. I'm up near Albany area in NY.
 

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Omie

I picked up 2 hives like that once took them home and gave them TLC and they died, then my wife said SEE I TOLD YOU NOT TO MESS WITH THEM SO MUCH :doh::lpf:
 
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