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Discussion Starter #1
New snow hit the ground last night. Bitter cold is expected later this week. I'd imagine this is a good time to get affairs in order with our beekeeping, feeding (Mountain Camp) and wind protection. Providing temps are high enough, anything that will freeze must be taken out soon. Any other suggestions to prepare ?
 

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i dont know but i hope like heck i did a few things okay. tonight is supposed to hit -30. last night was at -14. it is good and cold here.
 

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In December, the only things I check are:
Mouse guards - make sure they are on tight.
Exterior condition of hive; is TC in place?
Maybe Sticky Boards - just for info. like wheres cluster is located, size, wax moth poop, are they consuming patty (if using patties).
 

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Swede,
Actally the colder weather is a good thing. We've had a pretty warm fall so far and that means the bees are eating more stores then normal. With the colder weather, they'll slow down.
Doing an emergency check in really cold weather is probably more harmful then helpful. As long as the hives were nice and heavy going into November I probably wouldn't worry about them until the weather starts to moderate in mid to late February. When the weather is very very cold, there is little you can do to help anyway. Bees have existed without us for millions of years. If you've done most things correctly, they'll probably be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I didn't really look into the hives weight, however, tried to lift one 4 stage colony with quite some effort. Does anyone have a standard tare weight for the supers with empty frames ?

I'm guessing that the #3 package tripled in size making 9 lbs of bees. When it began, 5 frames where full and at the end of this season was a total of 15 frames full of brood. Without a scale, I'd say that the entire thing weighed around 50-60lbs.
 

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Swede,
Whether by "four stage colony" you mean two deeps and two mediums, or you mean four mediums, either way, if this hive weighs 50-60 pounds, it is VERY light. Dangerously light.
 

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Swede,
I'm sorry, but I still have no clear idea what size boxes your hive is in. Deeps, Mediums and even Shallows could be used as a Brood Chamber, and supers would go above the Brood Chamber, so I don't know what size boxes your "brood supers" are. I have never heard of a shallow deep. BUT if we assume you're using the lightest possible boxes (shallows) for all your hive boxes, you have AT LEAST 24-30 pounds of woodenware and frames including the telescoping top cover. If your hive really weighs, at best, 60 pounds, you have only 30 pounds of honey/pollen for the winter. It's not enough. Certainly not enough for a colony of Italians and probably not enough for a colony of Russians. You should probably aim for a November weight of 150 pounds or so (it's sort of silly but you need more stores if the weather is going to be warmer). Keep the sugar on them and hope for the best.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Alright. Here's what I got.

1) 2 stage brood chambers drawn with comb approx 19 pounds each
Total of 38 lbs.
2) 1 honey super (hallowed out) with feeder & mountain camp dry sugar
About 10 lbs including sugar
3) One of each of the following:
Inner lid- 2 lbs.
Outer Lid 7.5 lbs.
Base 10 lbs.
Bees 9 lbs. 2nd hive = approx 7.5 lbs
Grand total:

Hive #1 tare weight without honey/pollen reserves:

76.5 lbs

Hive #2 is approx 2.5 lbs less due to some earlier queen difficulties.

74 lbs

I can't dead lift either one of those hives and I'm 150 lbs soaking wet.

I know I can lift my own weight from a dead lift pretty easily. I'm guessing that both hive weights are above 150 lbs each.

Have I missed anything ?
 

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Much better! If your weight now is over 150 pounds, you'll likely be fine. Be sure to monitor in early/mid February. They could need sugar and pollen patties then, but that is ALOT better then the first report.
 

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Any "box" used for a place to store honey should be called (for clarity) a "honey super" or just "super".
A super may be any size; a Deep, a Medium, or a SHALLOW.

A hive consisting of 2 Deep Brood Chambers, AND 60+ lbs of honey, along w/ bees, will be difficult to "heft".
And hefting a hive is a very, very poor way for a beginner to determine honey quantity.
 

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>60-70 lbs is enough to feed throughout the winter . . .

60-70 of HONEY needs to be STORED inside hive. Some along side (in same brood chamber) the bees, and some STORED ABOVE the bees for future (late winter/early spring) use.

>This is on one honey super, or "Shallow" deep . . .
???????? Please explain.
 
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