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Thought I would share what I tired this winter season.
First, here's what I did last season. I had 5 colonies in double deeps in insulated boxes with home made quilt boxes. All had plenty of stores going into winter. One colony made it until February and then we had a sub zero cold snap. That colony died after that. Prior to that cold snap there were multiple days at -10 and lower. All 5 colonies were South facing but, as the sun went lower on the horizon, the hives ended up being in shade for all but a couple hours in the morning for most of winter. All got Apivar strips but I did not do a mite count. All the hives still had plenty of honey when I examined them.

Now back to this season.
I got 3 double nuc boxes (4 frames over 4 frames) to try the Mike Palmer method. That gave me 6 colonies to test with but 1 had a queen fail late summer so I combined it with the next weakest hive. So 5 colonies going into winter.
I moved the hives to a spot where they got sun all the time.
I used Apivar strips going into fall and got a cheap wand style vaporizer for OA and used OA 3 times going into winter.
I put on my quilt boxes filled with wood shavings and an insulated cover.
Wrapped the hives with tar paper for wind control.

A couple weeks ago, it got up to 40 degrees. I opened the lid to the first quilt box and found a layer of ice and frozen wood shavings. I thought another total loss. However, I dug through the wood shavings and could feel warmth and dry shavings. Got to the bottom and found bees in 2 hives! I was pretty excited. The next 40 degree day I did a closer look and found another hive with bees! I cleaned out all the dead bees from the entrances and the bees came rolling out. Guess they were blocked in by a pile of dead bees. I took a part the 2 hives with no activity and found mice had gotten in. The mice ate the bees and mangled the comb. I'd like to think these 2 hives would have made it if it wasn't for the mice. Who knows?

It got down to -20 this season. Very impressed they made it through. It's supposed to get to 60 soon. I'll do a better inspection and see if I still have queens.
 

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congrats! I bring 20 or more of those MP 4/4/4 style nucs through winter every year and they do great even in cold upstate NY.
 

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A single 5-frame nuc can make it in N Illinois, where we occasionally get -20 temps. 0 temps for a week or two doesn't seem to be a problem. I had quite a lot of sugar on them all winter since I don't believe they can store enough honey in a unit that small.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The temp was over 50 today in the sun so I had to take a peak in these hives. Took out 2 frames from the top box and found queens, eggs and larvae in the 3 hives. Truly unbelievable.
I Should have tried the double nucs long ago.
 
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