Since the temperatures are warming up, yesterday we added top feeders to all of the beehives, and added some 1:1 sugar syrup to feed them.
Here’s a picture inside a top feeder (actually an older picture); the trough holds syup, and the bees can access it from inside the hive via the center area:
Now all five of our hives (which are all still alive, yay!) have top feeders — the white boxes at the top of each:
The boards leaning against the hive stands are the inner covers of the hives, which aren’t needed with top feeders. I’ll remove those once the bees have left them.
I’ll refill the feeders weekly, or as needed. It takes quite a lot of sugar — using two large pots, I heat up 30 cups of water and mix in 30 cups of sugar, and that is only enough to partially fill the feeders. But the feeders will help the bees survive until more things are blooming in spring. We’ll remove the feeders when we add the honey supers, since we don’t want sugar water in our honey.