Just had a quick peak in the one remaining hive I have and they are still there. Covering about four frames not the six that they were before, but nonetheless the hive is dry which is a result as I have tried this new method of wintering; replacing the lid with a complete insulation cover and damp wise it seems to be working. I have just given them some sugar, again something I have not done before but have not got any fondant and wanted to get it done before the forecast wet weather and winds settle in for the weekend. So, I grabbed a sunny moment in the day and went in. The sugar method I was told about is thus: Take a bag of sugar, pierce the paper with small holes (as you would the newspaper you put on top of the Queen Excluder when uniting two hives). immerse the bag in a bowl of cold water and count slowly to four. Take the bag out and place it in a freezer bag and wrap tightly. I then put the tightly wrapped bag of sugar in a plastic container and made sure it was well and truly wedged in. I turned the container over and cut a small hole , about 1” x 1/2”, in the bottom. When I got to the bees, I cut a small hole in the plastic bag (just inside the hole in the plastic container), lit my smoker, just in case they came up like a fountain as they are want to do when a bee- scape is removed, removed said bee-scape, gave a gentle puff of smoke and popped the container on top of the hole in the crown board. Fingers crossed this works. I have never done this before but the suggestion comes from a very good source! I can only say “watch this space.”

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