i did this last year and all the hives did well. I dont know if its really necessary but with the small number of hives i have it isnt too much bother.Michael,
What is your opinion about wrapping hives together, rather than individually?
We live in a very cold climate like yours, and I was planning on wrapping 4 or 5 colonies all pushed together in a row with foam board between and on the outside.
Top feeders woks well...in warm weather. Once the weather turns cold, bees won't leave the cluster to work in the feeder.
Then again, I have too many colonies and don't want to buy/make hundreds of hive top feeders. also, I can measure more accurately how much I feed each colony.
I weigh right (and left) sides with this (pretty much identical): http://grb.nordicshops.com/product.html/hangvag-mekanisk-kc-08Ditto, but I weigh left and right sides. Sliding whole hive onto a scale would not fly with my hive stand arrangement.