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6a 5th yr 8 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
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I'm sold. Will forever leave soaked sponges at the entrance and spray water on sugar bricks to get hives through the tough months. Every few days I take a carton of sugar and a spray bottle and add then spray as needed. Open fed pollen sub (glad it's not a door stop anymore) in Feb March and early April. Left them a plate of water with sponges on top outside their hives. It's a super popular spot and gets new water daily.

How are my water people doing? We had quite the thread going. At some point I need to switch to liquid feed but it got cold again. The bees prefer their sugar slurry. Burned out on Covid19 watching. Need to get it in gear with my bees. All 5 made it and were super pampered. Feel like the weather is stalling me out a bit. Not quite warm enough to get in.
 

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You solve the "water problem" by simply covering your bees with plastic in late winter/early spring - condensation is useful when they start brooding up.

In this picture I additionally added a water bottle of course (a typical cold April here for any foraging to speak of - any sponges left outside will be hardly useful).
So, just add a water bottle with a little punctured hole directly onto the frames and done, if don't like the plastic.
Don't need to be opening bees every few days or wetting the sponges. :)
 

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As far as spraying water on the dry sugar - it depends of course.
In cold winter cases, this is not needed as there is enough condensation as it is, and regular spraying will only add more unnecessary water into the hive while also disturbs the bees.
They eat through the stone-hard fondant like nothing - see pic.
 

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