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Hello all,
I'm going into my first winter with my two hives. I know that I need to check to make sure
that they have enough food and that there aren't any intruders (e.g. mice, beetles, etc...).
This means that I can open the hives in the winter....right? Any advice?

Happy Honeydays
 

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You can take them off at any time, BUT when it is cold out you are just letting what little heat they have built up inside out. It can also disturb the cluster somewhat since some of the bees are going to come to see what is going on. If you must go in, at least wait until it is as warm as can be and work fast. I would not start pulling frames or lifting supers off. If it is in the freezing temps where you are at you can feed fondant, dry sugar or candy boards.

G3
 

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I will open hives only when it is 50F or above, and sunny, then only if it is going to stay that way a few more hours.

Others may do differently.
 

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honeybear, you should have finished doing what needs to be done to your bees by now. But I haven't. I fed my bees in SC just yesterday and the day before. I gave them all a pollen patty and a gallon of corn syrup. And I'll do it again in a month. To those who could benefit.

Mostly, for folks w/ a few hives and those w/ hives in the north, it is a good idea to stop opening your hives at least by Xmas and to leave them alone for a couiple of months. Unless you feel as though you have taken too much honey away from them, they aught to be okay w/out you poking around in there until March or in VA, maybe late Feb.
 

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The temp. is supposed to be 50 tommow and 55 mon. and this is my first year to feed the mountaincamp method. I am going to check the sugar supply on those, but that will take less than a minute on each hive unless they need more sugar. Jack
 

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My local beekeeping association (Harrogate& Ripon) recommends only opening the hive if it is warm enough for you to go outside in shirt sleeves, probably 55 deg or higher.
 

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As in most things in beekeeping, each one has their own opinion. None or all may be right. My limit is 60F. and sunny. Below that, they are on their own.
 

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I like to see them flying pretty good before I will open them up. Sunny is always best, if it is raining well then I'm not usually outside anyway.

What I meant in my earlier post was yes it is possible to open them at anytime (if you are strong enough to pop the top), that is why I added the BUT in there.

G3
 
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