How I over winter and feed Singles.
There are 6 colonies in this photo. Each stack has two independent colonies wrapped together.
I remove a couple of the staples holding the wrap in place, then carefully peal back the paper.
Carefully lift off the top colony, making sure not to remove the foam plank from the lower colony.
Separated and ready to feed fondant.
Slowly lift off the foam insulation.
I carve out about 3/4 of an inch of the 2" plank giving the bees about a 1" cavity above the inner cover.
The fondant I make has a loose consistency allowing it to be "piped" out of a ziplock bag. This batch of fondant has a small amount of "MegsBee" mixed in for some added protein.
I start pouring it about an inch away from the inner cover vent hole so it doesn't spill down into the hive.
Here you can see the space between the vent hole and the fondant.
I made special bottom boards for wintering singles on. It has removable trays to allow easy removal of normal winter debris such as dead bees and wax cappings. It also allows for checking mite counts and a general location and size of the cluster.
The tray has vent holes drilled for airflow, but screened so mice and bees don't use it for access. The front has entrance 3/8" holes drilled for access, while not allowing mice in.
Both sides of the front plate are drilled, I tape one side to alternate entrances in the stack to reduce drifting between colonies.
The bottom board has about an inch under the tray for free airflow, and also more than an inch between the frames and the tray, again for airflow.