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I just checked on the bees and they are fine but I suspect they will not make it through Feb in southern wisconsin. I was thinking about taking the hive into the basement and feeding. Is that a good idea? I just think It is worth saving the hive instead of paying 65 for a new package. It was a weak hive to begin with. I am amazed they lasted this long. I have put 5 pounds of sugar on the top feeder which they have not really touched. they began with a full deep of honey and possible a little more on the bottom deep. Thanks.
 

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It is too cold to break cluster and get the syrup. You could try fondant (sugar patty) on top of the frames. What is the temp of your basement? If it is too warm they will think it is spring and get active too soon.
 

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What makes you think they won't make it?
You thought they'd not make it this far but they have.
You never said how many frames of stores are currently on the hive.
You've not said how many frames of bees you have.

What ever stores they have, whether honey or you're added feed, it needs to be right on top and beside the brood. If it's not right up next to it close, they won't be able to use it when they are cold enough to cluster.
 

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I just checked on the bees and they are fine but I suspect they will not make it through Feb in southern wisconsin. I was thinking about taking the hive into the basement and feeding. Is that a good idea? I just think It is worth saving the hive instead of paying 65 for a new package. It was a weak hive to begin with. I am amazed they lasted this long. I have put 5 pounds of sugar on the top feeder which they have not really touched. they began with a full deep of honey and possible a little more on the bottom deep. Thanks.
So they began your winter in a two story brood nest? Top was full of honey, and a little more in the bottom? Did the cluster begin the winter in the bottom? Where are they now? And what is the status of the honey stores in the top? You might accomplish more by moving frames of honey from the outside, up against (Not into!) the cluster.

Or, on a very still, and somewhat warm day, if the cluster is in the top box, and the bottom box is empty, reverse. And move the outside honey frames into the center of the now top box, so as the cluster moves up, they move up into honey. But do not under any circumstances, disturb the cluster!

Then again, if the cluster is low in the hive, leave alone, and continue to monitor. They probably have not taken the dry sugar you've given them because they haven't needed it. They can amaze us with their ability to take care of themselves.
Regards,
Steven
 
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