Because of this trend I delayed winterizing the hives, by putting the bee cozies on. The reason why was becuase I didn't want to remove the hive top feeders. I knew that Hive #2 needed to bulk up a bit more and I wanted to take advantage of the great weather to continue feeding the bees.
But I knew the temperatures would eventually drop and snow could come on suddenly so I decided that this weekend I'd do my winterizing.
Attending the annual beekeepers' conference really helped because I got advice to leave the hive top feeder on all winter along with the cozies and just put a small hole either in the inner cover or the feeder so bees can access it.
It's designed to have a "peak" in the front center of the hive that sticks out and that's where the bees can come and go from the hive. Rain or snow can channel down this section with no problems.
These cozies must be used with top exits in addition to the reduced entrance at the bottom. The top exit provides needed ventilation so water droplets don't form inside the inner cover and drip down on the bees.
You can see a U-Tube video demonstrating the cozies being put in place.