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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was surprisingly 63deg today! I took the chance to check all the hives ( all doing well with exception of one rinky dink nuc that has died out).
Interestingly whilst there were a TON of bees out on cleansing flights, when i removed the quilt boxes to check the food situation a lot of the hives i could see the cluster near the tops of the frames. Most of the hives have more than 1 super of honey on them so im surprised to see them so high up in the hives. Surely they cannot have gone through all of their store already?!?!?
I did add mannlake winter patties 2 lbs per hive anyways.

Ill check again in a couple weeks.
 

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We have the coldest morning in weeks! It was 17F It has been above freezing at dawn as often as colder this December. I just can't bring myself to mind! I will be checking in a couple weeks to find any colonies needing sugar bricks and a month later I will be adding pollen patties. I know aa lot of colonies die in the spring, but not because I let them run out of stores. So much better than the endless winter last year.
 

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Was surprisingly 63deg today! I took the chance to check all the hives ( all doing well with exception of one rinky dink nuc that has died out).
Interestingly whilst there were a TON of bees out on cleansing flights, when i removed the quilt boxes to check the food situation a lot of the hives i could see the cluster near the tops of the frames. Most of the hives have more than 1 super of honey on them so im surprised to see them so high up in the hives. Surely they cannot have gone through all of their store already?!?!?
I did add mannlake winter patties 2 lbs per hive anyways.

Ill check again in a couple weeks.
Same situation here, most of the hives are all up in the top supers already and the sugar boards. Deb
 

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Seeing the same in my hives all up top. Had one 6 frame nuc die from starvation couple weeks ago so put sugar bricks on the rest. Big healthy looking clusters this year so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
im really surprised this early in winter to see them going through stores like this. I had left these hives REALLY heavy with honey.
I guess just keep feeding em and keep learning.
 

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im really surprised this early in winter to see them going through stores like this. I had left these hives REALLY heavy with honey.
I guess just keep feeding em and keep learning.
some hives have kept raising brood long after they should have shut down, even with the long string of cold weather we have had. I've got 3 that I have been keeping an eye on that are in that boat, in the past it has been a sign of nosema or mites, I doubt that I heavy mites in those hives. but all my hives are still dead heavy.
 

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For sure keep an eye on weight and sugar blocks. I try to have a supply of blocks on all winter. If they are consuming sugar, the bees are not using honey. A frame or two or three of extra honey is very handy in the spring to move to a hive short of honey or use in NUCs.

I find that bees spend a good part of the winter up in the feed shim, milling about. Warmth?, food?, fresh air?. In very cold weather, they form a tighter cluster lower in the two deep brood boxes. However, they move back up when any warmth in ambient air. Being high up in the hive, does not necessarily mean low on honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
For sure keep an eye on weight and sugar blocks. I try to have a supply of blocks on all winter. If they are consuming sugar, the bees are not using honey. A frame or two or three of extra honey is very handy in the spring to move to a hive short of honey or use in NUCs.

I find that bees spend a good part of the winter up in the feed shim, milling about. Warmth?, food?, fresh air?. In very cold weather, they form a tighter cluster lower in the two deep brood boxes. However, they move back up when any warmth in ambient air. Being high up in the hive, does not necessarily mean low on honey.
i hope this is right. Man i left a TON of honey on these hives. Most of them have 2 or more supers of honey.
 

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We had a warm day here in central New Jersey on Monday as well, so I went in and added some sugar blocks to my colony. Stores are low, so I just plan to keep feeding them until Spring. There was lots of activity, and plenty of bees flying. I sure do hope I can carry them thru the winter. I am having a great time, and I feel a definite level of responsibility to keep the colony healthy. I hope to expand to three hives this Spring.

Alan
 

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For sure keep an eye on weight and sugar blocks. I try to have a supply of blocks on all winter. If they are consuming sugar, the bees are not using honey. A frame or two or three of extra honey is very handy in the spring to move to a hive short of honey or use in NUCs.

I find that bees spend a good part of the winter up in the feed shim, milling about. Warmth?, food?, fresh air?. In very cold weather, they form a tighter cluster lower in the two deep brood boxes. However, they move back up when any warmth in ambient air. Being high up in the hive, does not necessarily mean low on honey.
Mr Golden, one of my experiences is that bees choosing to cluster in that feed shim or rim as I call it, don't winter as well. I started floating a sheet of plastic over the MC or sugar brick feed that floats down as the sugar is consumed. One of Randy Olivers findings was that bees live longer in combs than clustered. That is why I started using the plastic sheet. Before doing it, I had really severe dwindling in early March. My observation is that the plastic sheet has really helped with that spring dwindling. My thesis possibly is not too scientific but I am convinced it is a really important part of my wintering system.
 

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Are you using woven plastic such as feed sacks or rice sacks or a solid plastic sheet?

My upper entrance is in my feed shim/rim, so don't need to keep that open. Not a fan of drilling holes in my supers.

I also use quilt boxes and choke my bottom entrance down 3/8 high by 1 inch wide. My interiors are warm with bees not tightly clustered most of the winter. I have very low losses, and usually have too many bees in the spring. Took a few years to get confidence in my wintering but is there a better way???
 
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