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I am in central IL and just returned from my hives. I just removed the cover and saw a lot of bees on the top frames of the upper deep. Could this mean that their winter stores are nearly depleted? I some to recall that the bees will move up during the winter as they consume their stores, so I didn't consider this a good sign. I lifted the back of the double deeps and it was around the 40-45 lb range.

My next concern is that we are forcasted to have very cold weather move in soon.

Should I do anything more???
 

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>lot of bees on the top frames of the upper deep . . .
If the bees went into winter in the bottom deep and now are on top of frames in top deep, I'd say they are looking for food.

>I lifted the back . . . it was around the 40-45 lb range . . .
If your "weight-guess" is correct, it may also indicate a "hungry hive".

1-story empty hive weighs approx 34 lbs, each 10-frame super of empty combs weighs approx 21 lbs.

Most Bkeps feed w/ a candy board in cold weather. When bees can fly, they can "get to" and use liquid feed. A jar feeder inside an empty super, hive body or box works well also.
 

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Bees clustering up in the top deep this time of year isn't uncommon- it's where I'd expect to see them actually. 40-45 pounds for a 2 deep hive however sounds light to me. It couldn't hurt to get some feed on them. I don't have a lot of experience feeding bees in the winter though.
 

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Bees w/ a "food chamber" on top of two deeps are never found "in the top", unless they are hungry.

It would not be uncommon for a 2-deep hive that didnt have enough food to start with, to be clustered in the top, this time of year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Should I bite the bullet and go inside and move some frames closer to the cluster? The warmest temps in the next few days will be around 35.

Or should I just put liquid feed on top and hope for the best?
 

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I don't think that right now is a good time to start moving around frames. In this weather probably the easiest and most effective emergency feeding would be Mountaincamps dry sugar method. Do a search on "winter feeding" and see what you can find. There would be little colony disruption and the sugar will be right above the cluster.
 
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