We had 19 below zero (F) this AM, but at least the wind was calm. All of my hives had a few dead in front of them from yesterday when we only got up to 12F above but BRIGHT sunshine. We have tough bees ;)
What was your temp there in the UK?
18 lbs of winter stores! In Norway! I'd definitely like to see that paper :shock:.
Does the study include the amount of syrup that was fed as well? Or just the amount of honey left by the beek/scientist conducting the experiment? How 'big' was the colony (s)? That would be good to know. Was it/were they kept in a building or outside? I have lots of questions :-D
Fact is; bees consume MORE when its warm and if we artificially are keeping them warm, particularly in extreme climates, it 'may' be counterproductive to any future survival "if" we are training them to 'need' us instead of the other way around. Or, perhaps that is the goal some are trying to accomplish?????
Just saying............... :)
Personally, I've got a messed up back/neck/head and I'm just not that anal w/ my beekeeping to precisely weigh them, other than the occasional tip. I try real hard to have them built up to 4 mediums with the top one packed w/ honey by winter wrap up time, but have 'successfully' overwintered in just 'one' medium, a small cluster/NUC on 4 frames surrounded by honey AND a full medium of honey above it. Placed on top of one of my LONG Hives, that one survived just fine and didn't need any of the sugar I left.
By Winter wrap up, w/out weighing I just 'know' which ones are light and will require feeding, but I leave dry sugar for "all" of them. That said; I also STOP 'taking' any honey in August. Whatever they collect from about the middle of the month is theirs, which includes our goldenrod and Aster flows and can go well into October. Even w/ a good flow I still will leave them all some sugar.
I only started insulating my hives this year and am still not convinced they are any better than plain wood. I believe my colonies might be suffering because let's face it, insulation (foam) doesn't BREATH, allowing condensation to accumulate despite Top Entrances. It certainly explains the frost build up at the entrances that has NEVER been an issue before.
There are as many ways to keep bees as there are beekeepers, its NOT a competition 8-) and that is a 'good' thing.