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Got a chance to stop in and look at a few hives in one out yard. All hives looking good a couple was light, im going to do a mountain camp method on them. Other than that they all appeared to be wintering well so thats some good news from that yard.
 

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I'm itching to take a peek in on ours but haven't had the weather cooperate with my time availability yet. :( Judging from the porch traffic we have one that will be ready to split and one that may or may not make it until the first blooms.
 

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I have been watching my two hives every day we've had some sun and above 30F.
Both hives are alive.
One is booming and very active, cleaning out the dead, many taking cleansing flights, guards crowding around the upper entrance, etc. Looking real robust.
The other hive is alive but MUCH less active. Only an occasional bee coming and going, more dead bees left piled inside the mouseguard, no guards at the upper entrance, etc.
Funny how you can start and raise two hives exactly equally, but have such a difference by winter.
I'm just crossing my fingers hoping to have ONE hive survive healthily to Spring. If both survive, it would be icing on the cake.
I'll have one new nuc coming in the Spring, ...and if I have one strong overwintered surviving hive I can split it, thus having potentially 3 hives next year.

Good thing I have two hives now instead of just one- comparisons are very helpful!
 

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Omie said:
I have been watching my two hives every day we've had some sun and above 30F.
Both hives are alive.
<snip>
Good thing I have two hives now instead of just one- comparisons are very helpful!
Honestly I think the best advice we ever got was from Iddee when he told us to always start off with at least 2 hives. The kids and I learned so much just by walking back and forth between the two during inspections, then when we added the 3rd on later on that year our world seemed a whole lot bigger all of a sudden. It really changed the way we viewed the hives, and being able to compare one to the other made all the difference in the world especially during that first year.
 

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I'm still hoping all five of mine will make it, the nuc is very lite and I will put the mountain camp on it shortly plus two frames of honey i have sitting around. Have not looked inside since it has been too cold and wet.
 

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Mine are on dry sugar already. Mild fall weather led to them consuming way more stores than they should have. Looking like I still have eight alive. I figured in October I should have five make it through. Here's hoping.
 

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oops, I don't know why I spoke (er, typed) so incorrectly :oops: We actually have 5 hives + the bee tree, all look great except for one hive that was on the smallish/weakish side going into fall. We put 2:1 syrup on them a couple of weeks ago and business on the porches picked up the pace a bit. Next chance we get we'll see if they need anymore food. Baby Beek is wanting to hurry up and put pollen sub on them......I'm just not sure it's time yet.
 

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Pollen sub can be started any time now, but a word of caution........

Once you start the pollen sub, you MUST keep sugar water and pollen sub available until the flowers bloom. Letting them run out can be fatal.

The pollen sub will cause her to start laying many more eggs and the brood has to be fed.
 

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Iddee said:
Once you start the pollen sub, you MUST keep sugar water and pollen sub available until the flowers bloom. Letting them run out can be fatal.
Amen, one of the first things I learned from the Miksa's.
 

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hmmm, now I'm thinking. there is really a lot to take into consideration with that. <goes off quietly to ponder the possibilities>
 

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Down here. You can feed bees at any time. If they want/need it, they will take it, if something better is out there they will ignore the syrup. Same with pollen patties, they will just lay there in May. However in Jan/Feb if you give them both, They will think, Hey! Spring is here, get that queen laying. Lets get the population up. Which is what you want here for the Mar/April orange blossom's. Strong hives. If though, you let them run out for a week or 2 in early March for instance. They will think the spring flow stopped and they will shut down the queen's laying and pull out the brood they can't feed. Takes them time to ramp up and down, The earlier hatched bees will quickly consume whatever stores are left and the hive will be weak during the the real flow. Both are important, but I feel the emphasis should be on the syrup.
We do it to have stronger hives so they will produce more honey for us.
 
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