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A beek that I am mentoring had to split a hive in mid Aug this year. She fed each with the 4 quart hive top feeder - and she was serious about feeding. The original queen and her daughter hive drew out several combs beyond the 10 they each had.

We opened up the hive with the original queen in late Nov and there is almost no honey. Probably 10+ frames of bees. No evidence of robbing - no ripped wax on the bottom board. Just dumb bees who ate instead of storing?

Varroa drop was acceptable after OAV - 200 or so for the first treatment. By this time, I know what a good burn looks like... ;)

This hive should be requeened next summer with a queen from a survivor strain...but suggestions on getting it through the winter? She has fondant, do you recommend on top of the frames or on top of the inner cover? It will have pollen patty, or we will put pollen patty between the boxes if they are spanning the boxes in Feb or March, or she might open feed a set amount. According to Randy Oliver, bees can try to store the pollen substitute from open feeding and it ferments in a toxic way or something like that, so there will only be like 1-3 lb out at a time, with a couple weeks between feedings, something along those lines.

Beyond those measures, I suggested on a 50+ day, taking out 2 frames, immersing in 2:1 sugar syrup, and putting those next to the cluster. We already did that on the late Nov day upon discovery of how light they were. Jeez. Dumb bees. The other hive is heavy - same starting conditions!!!! about 10 drawn frames, 10 frames covered with bees, fed adequately with 2:1 as well with the hive top feeder, then 4-6 more frames drawn out in late Aug-Sept .

Anyone want a breed of queen that exclusively makes brood, not honey? jk.
 

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Unfortunately I have run into a similar predicament a time or two. My suggestion is to add a feeder rim and keep fondant or sugar blocks on the top bars at all times through the winter. The cluster will stay in the top box and probably settle in right under the sugar. That's why it's called emergency feed, this is an emergency. Don't put it above the inner cover, you want the bees to bee clustering right under and around the sugar without anything in the way.

Not sure I would be serving them any pollen sub right now. Save that for a few more months when you want to stimulate brood rearing, right now it might compound the problem.
 

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I second what Mike said, feeder ring and sugar of your choice. Most definitely limit the pollen sub till spring, maybe that’ll slow them down also.
There are Italian strains that won’t shut down brood production in winter, sounds like you’ve found them.
 

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Agree with the above but if you decide to "manually" add syrup to frames read Walt Wright's Fall Feeding article. I have some suspicions but no experience with adding syrup to the hive in winter/cluster temps as opposed to the fall temps/conditions.


https://beesource.com/point-of-view/walt-wright/fall-feeding/
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I concur with Mr. Gilmore's advice to have whatever over the top bars. Personally I would put a sheet of newspaper on the top bars, an empty box over than and dry sugar over that. They will chew through the newspaper. Spray the sugar with water a little to clump it so it doesn't all run down like sand when they chew through.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#drysugar
 

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...Anyone want a breed of queen that exclusively makes brood, not honey? jk.
I got a unit of such idiots on my own as well.
A super-huge swarm turned out to be bee-generators, not honey-generators.

Pretty sure will have do dump some sugar soon as well, to feed the fools.
If mites do them in - a good riddance then.
 

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Just feed them until spring and split about three ways with caged queens. Please note price of sugar and compare to spring bees! It is not that hard people.
 
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