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PaleoPerson 

Field Bee
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We have one hive that has been worrying me (my wife says they will be just fine) for the last three months as it had loads of stores at the end of October and then promptly ate them all in November and also stopped taken feed down. So it went into the winter very light.

The method I have used this last few weeks to check the hives has been to insert a varroa insert and look at the debris dumped on it over a couple of days. It shows me where they are, how many seams, varroa count and I do not have to open the hive (thanks Frisbee, top tip). Today I checked the fondant placed on top of the crown board in an upside down Chinese takeaway container and they have started to eat it en-mass and I will have to put more in tomorrow. :)

So I am now very happy, the weak hive has made it this far through the winter and has started feeding again and my wife just looks at me with that "I told you so :toetap05:" look.

Footnote
I call it the weak hive as it was created from a late summer split and had not built up to full strength.
 

oliver90owner 

Queen Bee
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started feeding again

They would never have stopped - or they would be dead before now! Tell-tale was the cappings on the hive floor.

A full 14 x 12 will hold about 20kgs of stores? All of what was there, used in one month?

Sounds to me as there was more there than you thought and/or they consumed less than you thought. 20kgs would normally (last few winters) be more than enough for the whole winter (they might need feeding for spring expansion).

You will now see how much they actually need if feeding, what, 900g in each plastic container? That would be assuming they are not still uncapping comb (which you can see clearly) which would mean there is still stores there even now. Have you got another container ready to put over the other feed hole? Did you cover the fondant with cling film and just slit the film (over the hole) or use a lidded container with slots in the lid?

Yes, seems like your wife is right. You worry too much. Yes, still a long way to go, if the weather men are correct with their forecasts, but kept warm and dry, healthy bees should make it. All the same, better to worry too much than not care at all!

Regards, RAB
 

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