Today I was adding winter supers (emergency sugar feeders) to several of my hives. This entails removing the outer and inner covers. Adding a 3 inch spacer and a 2 1/2 pound sugar disc. Then replacing the inner and outer covers. The joint between the upper box and the 3 inch spacer was sealed with duck tape.
The bees in all of the hives were in cluster. Some were already at the top of the upper brood chamber which was surprising, so I am sure they will be making use of the sugar disc. The fact that the clusters were already in the upper brood chamber may be a sign that the hives did not store enough honey during the summer.
One hive had a few weak bees on top of the inner cover. This is may an indicator of a marcens serratia scaria bacterial infection.