Going into late fall / winter perp the goldenrod and asters provided adequate nectar and pollen and both hives quickly backfilled the top brood boxes. I didn’t have to do much supplemental feeding of 2-1 sugar syrup to bring them up to weight.
November 23, 2014 was the last day I had the hives open making sure they were set for overwintering here in the northeast part of the US. I overwinter in 2 deep’s typically, but this year I also left each hive with a medium super that I didn’t pull. I’m feeling pretty confident in that decision as this week we are expected to get slammed with up to 2 feet of snow in Greenwich.
It’s was such a relief to see them flying today (in the mid 40s) and even bringing in pollen. The source of the pollen, I have absolutely no idea! But it’s pretty amazing to see in January. It’s one of the small joy’s in life, peaking in the hive when weather permits and seeing the bees still hanging around — alive!
Based on colony weight they still have a full deep left of stores and the top supers, from what I could see, had plenty of honey — just the very top 3 cell rows were uncapped.
I’m pretty happy with the cluster size, didn’t see the queen, but I didn’t expect to spot her and I didn’t pull any frames or break the propolis seals on the deeps. Most of the bees were in the middle box, not up at the top with the cane sugar. I had a GoPro set on a time-lapse and can check in on them while in NYC. I wasn’t seeing much activity until today. It’s just been too cold to fly, too rainy.
No small hive beetles either on the inner cover, which have been the absolute bane of my existence this year. No wax moths either or any varroa spotted on any of the bees up top.
Any clear day with the sun shining, and clear skies, is a great day to fly — for pilots and honeybees alike. I’m reminded of their resilience to work together as a team when each night we are well below freezing, rain, sleet, and snow.
This weekend was a glimmer of hope that beneath the outer cover, and inner cover, life is teeming and even thriving with a steady rhythmic beat of vibrating detached wing muscles keeping the cluster warm. I think they’re gonna make it.
Video of bees getting some pollen in…
I’m sure I’m not the only one ready for spring, the bees are too, which is when the cycle and race to harvest liquid gold (honey) starts all over again.
See ya’ll in the spring. I will definitely be doing some splits off hive 1, and hopefully get a few more hives going. Not an easy thing to manage on my limited schedule, especially in the summer and spring when M&A rages on.
* Click the pictures for larger images.