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By now you should have finished feeding and varroa treatments and insulated your wooden hives with a piece of insulation under the roof. Entrance blocks must be replaced and mouse guards fitted if your entrances are more than nine mm high. Varroa inspection trays can be left out all winter, however if you have a small colony you can insert it 3/4 of the way in. In no uncertain terms should you leave a queen excluder on between a brood box and super as the bees can move into the super and leave the queen behind to perish. How much stores do they require, well that depends on many factors like size of colony, weather, and insulation are just a few but a rule of thumb is 40 lbs. so leaving just a super on top is not enough if they have no stores in their brood box so without disturbing our bees too much as they are all snuggled up inside we heft our hives, this can be done in many ways but what I find the easiest way is to put a hive tool between the brood box and floor at the rear corner and just prise downwards as if you are going to lift it, it should feel as if you are lifting two supers full of honey and then you know you have near the right amount of stores. Insistently, a full standard National brood box will NOT hold enough stores to last them until next spring so fondant will need to be added later.
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