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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok checked on my hives yesterday and all the cluster's are up in the top box in the middle frames. They havent touched the 4 outside frames on each side. !0 frame equipment.. My over winter config is one deep and one med. They were weighed going into winter and all were 90lbs. +. Question is should i start making winter patties?
 

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Ok checked on my hives yesterday and all the cluster's are up in the top box in the middle frames. They havent touched the 4 outside frames on each side. !0 frame equipment.. My over winter config is one deep and one med. They were weighed going into winter and all were 90lbs. +. Question is should i start making winter patties?
Sounds like they are very easy keeper bees. I have some colonies with that configuration that I fed to between a hundred and a hundred ten pounds. Supposedly 75/25 % carni/italian so they should be fine. I will be putting pollen patties on mine for the first time this year. Since I cant get in and out of them easily the way they are wrapped, it will likely be March, early April before I give them patties. You are undoubtedly near a month earlier than I am with your weather though
Knowing they are not short of feed would make me likely a bit hesitant to feed pollen lest I encourage too early brood up. Weather you are horny for early population / or timid about chilled brood, is the controlling factor. My son in south eastern Ontario has had some chilled brood incidents when there was a bit early false springs.

I am interested too, about how others make their decision on this.
 

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Knowing they are not short of feed would make me likely a bit hesitant to feed pollen lest I encourage too early brood up.
SIckdog is talking about winter patties, not pollen patties
Winter patties are mostly sugar and come in at around 2.5% protein so they won't stimulate brood rearing.

My view on them is they are mostly a way to separate hobbyists from their $$ as they are $3 a pound vs $0.50 a pound for dry sugar to make a candy board/sugar brick/MT camp with a sprinkle of dry sub if you think its needed..
 

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With that much honey untouched I jumped to the conclusion it was to stimulate spring build up. I suppose a cluster could get stranded if they hollowed out the whole center. I have had them come out of winter with a lot of crystallized honey in the outside frames and consider such frames somewhat of problem. They dont readily use it up and it wont extract. Have seen mention of using insulated dummy frames to replace outside frames since they dont get used anyways. Dont know how many people commonly do it though. How common is it for the bees to starve with full outside frames? Greg might say they were just the stupid ones and should not be encouraged anyways!:)
 

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Ok checked on my hives yesterday and all the cluster's are up in the top box in the middle frames. They havent touched the 4 outside frames on each side. !0 frame equipment.. My over winter config is one deep and one med. They were weighed going into winter and all were 90lbs. +. Question is should i start making winter patties?
deep on top or bottom, did you heft the hive, how heavy were they? if the bottom deep is empty 8 frames of med = about 24 lbs of honey, the bees should't have used up that much honey because they are just now starting to make brood, that's when they use up the honey. you have to heft them to know how much is left, but when in doubt put sugar on top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was thinking if there in the top box there must be nothing left in the bottom. Is this true? Here is a video i did for my youtube channel showing the bee's.

 

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I was thinking if there in the top box there must be nothing left in the bottom. Is this true? Here is a video i did for my youtube channel showing the bee's.
Lift it up to see how heavy it is. Sometimes I think the bees just like to spread out some, or have a more vertical cluster and move horizontal some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok when is it ok to do splits? I presume when the dandelion flow starts? Another question is there nectar coming in rite now with the nice weather we have had? I To see an awful lot of pollen coming in.
 

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Split on dandelion when it is going, not when you see a few. Careful of your configuration because you can still have cold nights. You are probably starting a red maple flow, but its not much yet. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Split on dandelion when it is going, not when you see a few. Careful of your configuration because you can still have cold nights. You are probably starting a red maple flow, but its not much yet. J
Is it to early for queen excluders?
 

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I will put them on when I super with empty comb. No problem as long as colony doesn't have to move up to eat. J
 
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