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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like today and tomorrow going to be in the mid 40's with rain today, sun tomorrow and then we plunge down into the upper 20's for highs over the next ten days. With the yo-yo weather here over the past month, I am concerned about stores in the hive due to all of the activity on warmer days and all of my colonies were pretty strong in population when I last opened the hives on a warm day in mid-January. In late December I feed them all about 2 pounds of winter patties and then again during the mid-January inspection. Started the winter with plenty of honey and they were bringing in pollen past Thanksgiving. I'd like to pop open the hives and throw another patty on the top bars-open, drop and close a minute or less. I'm figuring to block up the front as one of the hives like to come out en-masse to check out any disturbance of their home and to avoid any "chimney effect" on the heat in the hive. What do you all think?

were still a few weeks before we start getting any real flying weather and early blooms. There's still a foot of melting snow on the ground but the next two weeks look brutal with another kick of winter and more snow.
 

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82 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
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Don't bother blocking the entrance short time open won't hurt.
Have and use smoke, you may need to smoke them down to help slide patties or sugar blocks in without crushing bees and the warm bees on top may take offense at you ripping their roof off. A puff at the entrance and as you open goes a long way.
It is better to have smoke and not need it than need it and not have it.
 

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Upstate NY I like it to be 25-30F and sunny no wind to open them to check stores and feed if needed. At that temp i have about 30 seconds to do my business before they come out. I usually dont check until mid feb unless we have wacky warm winters like last year. Then i check in 4 weeks unless they need something.... Dont bother blocking entrance. At 40F you may well need smoke and bees are more likely to be on top bars. When it's colder they are more likely to be clustered on comb. So at your warmer temps (esp without smoke) you are likely to be spending more than 30 seconds. At colder temp the cluster is more compact so you get a better read of how big and where they are, as well as how much capped honey they still have, because the bees are not blocking your view....
Happy Beekeeping!
 

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It's 37f here today and the warmest it has been or will be for some time, so I added a sugar brick to each hive. None were in the upper deep so they probably will not need it. Took less than 30 seconds. The challenge was trudging through 3 feet of snow without falling over. Mission accomplished. Probably an unnecessary endeavour, but I got some peace of mind (and exercise) confirming they are alive and have stores. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I thought I'd report back on todays inspection, just got done. It's 49 F here at 2:30 PM, the girls are definitely out and about, doing the dance in front of the hive with about a hundred or so that crashed in the snow around the hives. I opened a couple of hives, there still pretty heavy and there's a huge population in the two that I opened-seemed unnecessary to go any further. They barely touched the patties from last time, so I didn't add any. Looks like the bees are all over the place across the yard, taking water from the snow melt and on the side of the house (white house on the sunny side). What does JWP say-"despite my best efforts..." Now I've got to catch the one that came in with me!

Hopefully I didn't do any damage and the forecast is for the twenties and teens next week-I'm hoping I can relax now.
 

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Echo what Jack said. Better then the alternative. Having your supplies handy and ready will cut time. Feed both protein and carbohydrate. Their spring started at the solstice.
 
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