Winter and your first hive
My wife and I got our first hive this summer from a friend's father. We have been supplementing the hive with 1:1 sugar water until about a month or so ago when we switch to 2:1 sugar water. We've also given them pollen cakes from our local bee supplier. I picked up some more, winter driven pollen cakes for when it gets to the point where the sugar water will freeze. I checked my hive a few weeks ago and my bottom deep super is full of honey and brood. The second super (medium) went from being mostly empty to half full of honey. I was stoked!
I live in Central NC and was curious about winterizing. I've already placed an excluder at my entrance. My hive gets great morning and most of the afternoon sun. Is it safe to open the hive periodically to feed them pollen cakes during the cold months or is it better to just leave the cakes outside the hive. It only gets to the teens and twenties in February, but the rest of the time it's at freezing or above around Central NC. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!