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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wintering in two deeps. After weighing my hive, I'm sitting at an estimated 44 lbs of stores. Would you guys do MountainCamp feeding, or just try to make it through to April, when it will be warm enough to feed 1:1?

Ken
 

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It would help to know how you estimated the stores. I figure roughly 20 lbs per brood box and about 6 pounds for bees right now. That is 46 lbs. The floor and lid must be added, and will depend on your style.

Additionally, there could be ice in your hive contributing to your measurement if the weather has been cold. If the brood frames are heavily packed with pollen, that weight must be deducted from the honey as well. Pollen is important, but the honey is what pulls them through.

Where the feed is located in the hive can be as important as how much is there in total. If your bees packed themselves in and you did not move things around after September, chances are that it is in the right place: above and beside the cluster, not somewhere down in the bottom on the outside.

Feeding sugar or syrup in winter is hard on bees for a number of reasons, but not as hard on them as starving. The time to feed is in the fall, but if they are short you may have to feed. It appears you are a bit far north for the Mountain Camp system to be a good choice. Fondant is better in the north.

You have six weeks to go, and in my case, I see that my bees are using 1/3 lb a day, so from that it looks as if 15 lbs should get them there. Of course, their consumption will climb when the increase brood rearing, but by then you can give them syrup if they look to be running short.

All in all, if you calculated correctly, IMO you should not need to feed, and have quite a margin of safety.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Allen.

My hive sits on a platform scale. It's total weight is 105 lbs.

I separately weighed a bottom board, two deeps with empty frames, an inner cover, an empty medium (used by me for insulation), and a top . . . all weighs around 61 lbs. I don't think I have any ice in the hive.

That's where I come up with my estimate of 44 lbs of stores.
 

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Looks to me as if you are OK, then as long as the honey in the hive is good and not too granulated. I prefer not to feed until spring, if at all.

I have charted my weight loss over the winter and here is how it has gone so far.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is some CRAZY information. Way cool! Thanks for sharing. It's interesting that you only predict something like 55 lbs total loss. You seem to have quite cold temperatures too.

So far, from October 1st to Feb 13th, I've lost around 40 lbs. That's in 3 1/2 months. We just have 1 1/2 to go. I'm keeping my finger's crossed.

Ken
 
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