Not sure in your location. Checked most of mine today, found 1 dead out. About half of the others have gone through their fondant patties already :shock:
Made up new patties and put them on (5 lbs.) hoping that it will tide them over till it's warm enough for syrup. Funny though, with the fondant gone, they are still a decent weight.
I know what you're thinking Iddee, they're storing it. I just don't want to chance losing them over a couple $ worth of fondant.
Besides, they are all in deeps and I do not extract deeps. The only supers I extract are mediums and they are all in storage.
I'm from a much warmer climate, but Perry is even farther north than you. If he thinks 5 lb. is enough to get them to warmer weather, I would go with that and try to check them again in 2 to 4 weeks. Then you should know at what rate they are using it.
brendantm130..... food consumption at this time of year is highly connected to brooding rearing. by your description in post #6 this hive need to be fed and to continue to be fed until at least the dandelions bloom. sadly a lot of hives starve with spring time just around the corner (as far as I can tell this reality of bee keeping has not changed one whit in the past 50 years).
since I do not know how large the hive in question is, or how long you have till the dandelions bloom I cannot answer your question more precisely. two frames just sounds very light imho.
Being my first year, I'm not too sure about spring blooms, but I think it is at least a month until the weeping cherry blooms in my front yard. So, I think I need to feed. Fondent? It seems too cold to do syrup. This was a smaller swarm going into winter, with two deeps not quite full. Maybe 7 frames of honey in the top. Now it looks like they have two. My other hives aren't even in the top super, so I was thinking they needed help.
at your location and given the great swings in temperature I would agree that fondant is the best choice. if the weather broke just right you could feed syrup but there is some risk there which fondant avoids. I think your instinct as to the resource needs of the hive are correct.
for the starting beekeeper some record of when things begin to bloom and when the first drones appear in a hive are useful information.