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First of all, I apologize if this is a redundant post but I couldn't find another post with a quick search.

I have 4 hives, all 2 deep. All seem to be strong coming out of winter. They all feel pretty heavy right now. I have multiple questions as to my next actions:

1. I know I need to feed 1:1 now, which I will be putting that on today, but should I also be putting in pollen patties as well?

2. Once I do this, I'm assuming I just manage the hives as I did last season where as they fill up the 2 deeps with brood I put a queen excluder on and start adding honey boxes? And manage mites as I find them with monitoring?

3. As they fill up honey boxes this spring and summer and cap it, can I just put a new honey box on, then put an escape board, then the full honey box on until I'm ready to process that honey or will this be a problem for the hive?

4. I would like to try to do a couple splits this year. Is it best to do these into nuc boxes, or should I do the splits right into a new 10-frame hive?

I feel like these are kind of dumb questions but I see lots of conflicting information out there and this is the first time I have had bees make it through winter.

Thanks in advance.
 

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DTD350:

Yours are not dumb questions, just questions from lack of knowledge or likely questioning what you have heard or read.

If daytime temps are getting to around upper 50's F or higher feed with sugar water (1 to 1 sugar to water by either volume of weight is easiest; hot top water is all that is necessary to dissolve the sugar). If your temps are not that warm, I would feed with plain dry sugar; put newspaper on the top frames and dump 4-5 pounds of sugar on top. Also place pollen patties whether feeding with wet or dry sugar.

Re: splitting, whether to split into 10-frame or into nucs is a matter of "what do you want to do?". If you are splitting fairly early, before the first of June, you can split into nucs, and have plenty of nectar flow to build up to transfer into a 10-frame. If you are wanting to overwinter in nucs, you might want to wait until a little later. Keep in mind that if you want the bees to raise their own queen rather than obtaining a mated queen, earlier splitting is called for.

Hope this helps.

Phil
 

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I am assuming that you are going into your second year which is a little different than your first year. Feeding syrup was necessary when you first got your hives because you needed them to make wax, draw out comb and to consume and feed brood while they were doing all that work with nowhere to store the syrup. I assume that all your frames are drawn out so whether or not you need to feed depends upon the status of their stores. If they are indeed heavy, it indicates they are ok, although its best to take a peek in and see for yourself. If in doubt, I would add a sugar brick because it is still too cold in my area for them to take syrup outside of the hive. Like Phil said, 50 degrees. If you have a frame feeder, you can use those. An alternative is a zip lock bag with holes placed on the top bars.
Pollen patties: These are used to supplement nutrition and to ramp up brooding. Is natural pollen coming in yet in your area? For ramping up brooding so you have a maximum amount of foragers for your main flow, put patties on top bars 6 weeks before the flow. Once you start feeding pollen you have to keep feeding it until they don't take it which means you have plenty of natural pollen coming in. Beware that feeding pollen is a double edged sword. It will ramp up brooding which leads to overcrowding and swarming. Since you are planning on splitting, this should work out for you as long as you stay on top of it.
Not positive about what you are describing about your managing your honey supers, but yes, many just add supers once the prior super is almost full. You may also add 2 as long as hive is strong. Some "undersuper" by placing an empty super under a full super. You are not breaking any laws if you harvest the supers as they get capped. Most like to do it once or twice because its easier to clean up one time. Escape boards: I put mine under the supers I intend to harvest. Sometimes supers are cleared quickly, sometimes it takes 2 days. Cold nights will force them to leave more quickly. Do not place them until a day or two before you want to remove the super(s).
Splits: What Phil said. Plus there is a ton of info in the Splitting section. Hope this helps. J
 
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