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I was hoping I could get some advice on what I should be doing to prepare my hives for winter. I have been super busy and not had a chance to go out to do an inspection in probably a good month. I am planning on going out there one more time to do a full inspection before winter but not sure what I should make sure I do while I'm in there. I have 2 hives, one has a honey super on it, the other doesn't. Should I leave the honey super on through the winter? I've heard just 2 deeps are a perfect setup for overwintering. How do I know if they have enough to eat for winter and should I be feeding them now since there isn't anything for them to eat outside? I am really worried that we will have another nasty winter and I will loose my hives. I would hate for that to happen so I want to make sure I do everything I should be doing to help them survive.
Any advice would be wonderful! Thanks!!
 

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We have left a honey super on each of our hives. Then we will put a 5 lb. bag of sugar on top of that with newspaper. Then we will add a "quilt box" which will be a burlap bag full of dead dried leaves to absorb moisture. Then we will add a med. super with rigid insulation in it. Then the top. We also wrap the hive with tar paper and put a shim under the back to elevate the rear of he hive. Then any condensation can run to the front and out of the hive instead of dripping on to the bees. I hope this helps you out.
 

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Inside of our hives were ugly on Monday EMPTY for the most part. I now have two frame feeders in there with a hive top feeder I am using some surplus honey for feed.
Normally we have the hives tilted all the time, We also have mouse guards on all the time.
In the late fall we feed the two gallons of 2:1 syrup with Fumigilian B to prevent Noesma Creana, do the end bars with sugar mixed with terimicin which we have ran out of, so the future will probably be tolin.

:D Al
 
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Inside of our hives were ugly on Monday EMPTY for the most part. I now have two frame feeders in there with a hive top feeder I am using some surplus honey for feed.
Normally we have the hives tilted all the time, We also have mouse guards on all the time.
In the late fall we feed the two gallons of 2:1 syrup with Fumigilian B to prevent Noesma Creana, do the end bars with sugar mixed with terimicin which we have ran out of, so the future will probably be tolin.

:D Al
Majority of mine were empty as well. Put feeder on them all. Very strange compared to last year?? Plenty of bees in each but just not putting stores up??
 

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I was hoping I could get some advice on what I should be doing to prepare my hives for winter. I have been super busy and not had a chance to go out to do an inspection in probably a good month. I am planning on going out there one more time to do a full inspection before winter but not sure what I should make sure I do while I'm in there. I have 2 hives, one has a honey super on it, the other doesn't. Should I leave the honey super on through the winter? I've heard just 2 deeps are a perfect setup for overwintering. How do I know if they have enough to eat for winter and should I be feeding them now since there isn't anything for them to eat outside? I am really worried that we will have another nasty winter and I will loose my hives. I would hate for that to happen so I want to make sure I do everything I should be doing to help them survive.
Any advice would be wonderful! Thanks!!
Ditto on those who say "leave a super" "mouse guard", "insulation" except over entrance and possibly small vent area(you may not want to have plastic right on the hive though if you use the cozy method as they build lots of moisture unless you have long good solid freezes...you can use a burlap/other buffer in between so moisture doesn't soak the hive..... "entrance reduced" and that the "combs are full"(honey gives thermal mass to the combs and helps the colony stay warm). When it gets too cold for them to take syrup look up "fondant" recipes and install instructions and give them access to a big block of it OR the sugar method mentioned. They'll eat their honey first and mine reduce so much I haven't tried it BUT everything I've read makes it look like a great safeguard against starvation...there are pollen substitutes too if you see they don't have enough pollen comb. If you go more natural, essential oil additives like honeybeehealthy ward off nosema too(I've never used medication for it and my bees have never gotten it).BUT I'm only a second year! What do I know?!:D Beeks always have lots of Choices! Best Wishes!~
 

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Ok. So I have yet to go out there. I'm a tad bit nervous to cause I feel as though I have already dropped the ball as I haven't been feeding them yet. I just bought some sugar today and was planning on at least feeding them tomorrow if I don't get the chance to open up the hives all the way. Is it really necessary to do a full inspection in the fall and if so what do I look for? Just honey and pollen amounts?
I think I understand what you all are saying about what to do for winter. I am a more visual person though so I'm a tad confused on some things like the burlap buffer? I'll have my hubby read this thread, maybe his brain will wrap around it better. ;)
Also. The hive that has a honey super on it. Should I leave all the frames in that hive or should I make them share with my smaller hive that has no honey super?
Oh and about the fondant. I thought you weren't suppose to feed powdered sugar cause of different additives to it and fondant is make of marshmallows and powdered sugar (I decorate cakes) just want to be sure it's safe for them to be eating it before I give it to them.
Thanks for all the replies!!
 

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Ok. So I have yet to go out there. I'm a tad bit nervous to cause I feel as though I have already dropped the ball as I haven't been feeding them yet. I just bought some sugar today and was planning on at least feeding them tomorrow if I don't get the chance to open up the hives all the way. Is it really necessary to do a full inspection in the fall and if so what do I look for? Just honey and pollen amounts?
I think I understand what you all are saying about what to do for winter. I am a more visual person though so I'm a tad confused on some things like the burlap buffer? I'll have my hubby read this thread, maybe his brain will wrap around it better. ;)
Also. The hive that has a honey super on it. Should I leave all the frames in that hive or should I make them share with my smaller hive that has no honey super?
Oh and about the fondant. I thought you weren't suppose to feed powdered sugar cause of different additives to it and fondant is make of marshmallows and powdered sugar (I decorate cakes) just want to be sure it's safe for them to be eating it before I give it to them.
Thanks for all the replies!!

Oh sorry!
Look up "Fondant FOR bee feeding" !!! Its not powdered sugar,it's a block you make using Regular sugar. The block can replace the space of a frame inside Or be laid on top of the frames with the bees given access. I'm sure you could find a youtube of someone making and installing it.
Also by "buffer" I just meant if you made a bee cozy(plastic bag stuffed with insulation and wrapped over hive))-you might want something in-between the wood of the hive and the plastic; like a layer of burlap....that was all I meant.
 
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