Checked on the ladies today. Lost one nuc - they weren't able to move to the food due to the cold snap we had and starved out with honey and sugar cakes with in six inches. Fingers crossed for the rest of them. Snow up past my waist even with snowshoes.
Sharing a couple of pics with some explanations. We got 50 inches of the white stuff in February and 6 more on Friday night. Snow doesn't bother the bees but we have also had three spells in the last month of extended below zero weather. As in 20 below. When if gets warm out the bee clusters tend to break. With a cold snap sometimes they can't re-cluster and they will freeze or starve if they can't get to food.
On a warm day bees will fly and relieve themselves. Even on a cold day they will check me out when I visit.
I put quilt boxes on top of the hives to absorb the vapor from the bees. A box filled with smoker shavings, canvas bottom that the bees like to cling on to, and vent holes to wick the moisture out. You can see the frost build up in the quilt box.
Even if it is below freezing a quick peek is Ok. Here you can see part of the cluster as I tip up the quilt box. The white you see under the quilt box is a couple of sugar cakes - extra food incase they have trouble getting to the honey. A few pounds of sugar cakes is cheap insurance.
Checked my hives yesterday, all appear ok. They were spread across all the frames. I put some sugar cakes in. Later in the day they were out doing cleaning. As usual a lot don't make it home. We had about 4 inches of snow today, so they will be hunkered down again. We still have a couple of weeks to go yet, so will watch them closely Happy to see my nucs made it. We don't have a whole lot of snow, just along fences as well as in the bush. Good luck old243