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Winter Preparations for Neglected Hive

 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 188
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
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I got a package of bees this past sprint and put them in my hive that had died out over the winter. I felt I gave them a head start because there were several frames of honey. However this was an extremely busy year for me and about all I did was walk by every now and then and see they were still flying in and out of the hive. They have had two deeps as a hive all year, but I don't know if I should open them up this late in the year, of just let them go until spring. Any words of wisdom for someone in S.E. MI?
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
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don't open it.
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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It wouldn't hurt to put some dry sugar on top, just in case they are low on stores.
 
Ernie Schmidt
Posts: 81
Location: Olympia, Washington
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Jerry,
I agree with Tel, don't open it. One thing you can do to find out how much stores they have is gently lift the hive slightly. Grabbing from the back or side of the bottom board, lift to get a feel for the weight. Don't keep trying to lift if the hive feels heavy, the object here isn't to hurt yourself. If it is too heavy to lift or requires a great deal of effort they have winter stores, put in your mouse guard and wait for spring.
 
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