The remaining hive doesn’t have as many bees as I would like with the winter now here. The past few days have be hovering between freezing and 40 f and windy with nights in the 20’s. I gave them all the stores I could scrounge from the hives that had been robbed and killed and added chunks of sugar bricks.
Today the first 10 lb sugar board was made. As soon as it is dry and we have a slightly warmer day next week, the board will be added to the hive and any bricks left added on top.
I don’t want to have to open the hive any more than absolutely necessary to add more sugar. I explored the Mountain Camp idea of just placing newspaper down and pouring loose sugar on it, but saw mixed reviews of the idea and my local friend said they would never do it that way again. To provide a bottom to my sugar board, I stapled on a queen excluder and placed a single sheet of newspaper on it with a hole in the center for the cluster to move up under to feed.
The frames that were brought up from the dead hives have all spent at least 3 days in the freezer, then placed back in the boxes and sealed in large bags to prevent wax moth destruction.
I hope that by keeping this hive fed and not opening it unless to add feed, they will survive the winter and become a strong hive next year. Then adding a second or third hive back will be explored using the built out frames and working with the medium boxes. I am disappointed with my first season of bee keeping/learning, but medical issues interfered at a critical time and sometimes life just gets in the way.