6 responses

  1. David Lansing
    February 18, 2011

    As always thanks for sharing.
    The population count looks good. My partially educated, unexperienced 2cents worth is if they are eating the cakes their honey stores must be low and checking my copy of “The Hive and the Honey Bee” published by Dadant Publication it seems from now until enough forage is available regular feeding may be required. This really is a great book if you can get your hands on a copy…. got ours from the local library surplus book sale!
    Having said all that, with them all milling about on top they must be warm enough. As far as I know snow is a good insulator and with a good seal from wind maybe their enjoying a balmy winter!

    • Phillip
      February 19, 2011

      From what I’ve read, too, when the bees are high up like that, it usually means they’re low on honey. There may be other causes, but being low on honey is usually #1 on the list. Just about every frame was packed with honey the last time I checked in September, so it’s seems odd. But everything is odd to at this point because it’s all new and, even with all my reading, often confusing.

      I’ll continue to feed the bees candy cakes while snow is still on the ground. Then I’ll switch to syrup until I see them bringing in pollen, most likely from Dandelions. Then they’re on their own for the rest of the year.

      My concern from putting in the pollen patty and the one cake is squishing the bees when I put the inner cover back on. They were holding on thick to the inner cover, so when I put the cover back, I probably flattened a nice clump of bees against the newly placed patty. I was too concerned with getting in and out as quick and I could, and forgot to consider to the potential squishing.

      I may have to use smoke if the bees are as thick on top when I add more cakes or patties sometime in March. We prefer to avoid the smoke when we can, but the smoke does drive them down into the hive where they can’t get squished at least.

      I just hope I didn’t squish the queen.

  2. Phillip
    February 19, 2011

    I just made some significant updates to this post. I will likely update it over the next while as more info comes in.

  3. Rusty
    February 19, 2011

    I always use a two-inch spacer rim to accommodate sugar cakes, pollen patties, grease patties–whatever you’ve got–otherwise you will definitely squish bees.

    • Phillip
      February 19, 2011

      Yup. I gotta get myself a spacer. My insulated inner hive covers have quite a bit of space under them, but with what looks like the whole colony hanging around up there, it got a little thicker than I anticipated.

      I’ve sent photos of the bees to some cold-climate beekeepers and I’ve been getting some really great feedback. All kinds of good info… which I’ll load up with my next post. In March.

  4. Tara Burgess
    January 11, 2013

    I live in CT and we’re coming out of a cld snap. Very mild up until last 2 weeks. Getting ready to add a pollen patty.

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