Right now, I've got a feeder on my one hive (my first year). If the bees are in the winter cluster when it's 50 or below, will some bees break cluster to feed? Or should I go ahead and remove the feeder? 10 day forecast looks like high temperatures are going to hover around 55 degrees (Ohio).
I have a total of 3 medium boxes heavy and in good condition.
55 F = 12 C is not a limit, where colony is ON/OFF in cluster. In my country 12 C is normal when it is rainy day in mid summer.
Cluster comes when bees have prepared to winter, brood are away and they are not working outside any more.
In spring they are in cluster when they keep brood area's temperature 32C / 90F
When I feed for winter in September, 55F is normal day temperature.
If you feed bees, they are not in cluster even if temperature is outside 30F. They work to store the syrup and they have hot in the hive.
So misfyredOhio, give syrup so much they take it and continuously. Don't stop it.
- Bees fill cells and then they cap them
- Bees need high temperature that they are able to cap food.
- My system is that I give 16 liter (2 boxes) syrup first and then next week third box. Then 2-box hive is full (=3 medium boxes).
Here is wintercluster in spring. When I put terrarium heater on, the cluster filled whole space and started brooding