Hive Survival A few of the beekeepers on the forum have been posting about going out and putting an ear against and listening for signs of life. Now itâ€™s the time of year when hives can be running low on food. The bees will want to start in on brood rearing with the days getting longer. Once brood rearing commences the demand on the food stores will increase rapidly and the stores will get used quickly. Are you doing a heft test to see whether the hive weight is critical? How much should the hive weigh? More importantly how much shouldnâ€™t it weigh! The bees in the hive at this time of year will weigh 2.5 to 5 lb. Stack empty supers on a bottom board and a inner and cover along with an extra 5lbâ€™s and give it a lift. This is the weight we are trying to avoid. The heavier than this no stores weight, the better. The girls have made it thru this far so lets help them make it the rest of the way. It is still to early to feed the bees syrup in most areas so if the hives are light and you donâ€™t have frames of capped honey the options are sugar boards or fondant. You donâ€™t want to be opening the hives up unnecessarily on cold days but if not opening the hive means it will starve, you might not have a choice. So as your listening put your fingers under the front of the hive and give a inch or two of lift on the front of the hive. The light ones will be easy to tell so preventive measures can be taken to ensure the hives survive.