Aug. 21st, 2012

kitchen_kink: (hawaii sign)
So, our household got a hive in May this year. We started with a nucleus hive, but we have a theory that the queen died at some point early on, and they had to build up an establish a new one. Or something. Point is, they didn't build up as strong and in as much force as we expected in this first season. We had put a super on; we ended up taking it off again as they weren't using it at all, and the hive body still isn't completely full, though there are many more bees than when we started.

My question is: what tips do you have for wintering them over, particularly if they have no storage honey? I know they'll need to be fed, but how much, and pollen as well as sugar? And how can we be sure they're fed and safe through the months where we won't want to open the hive at all lest they lose precious heat?

We have a hive-top feeder, a styrofoam box shaped like the hive itself into which they can climb without leaving the hive, though refilling it means taking the lid off.

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dietrich

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