It’s once again a promising start to winter. The hives continue to look exceptionally populous going into the depths of the cold season. I don’t really know why the populations look so strong. The fall flow was quite weak, so there was relatively little stimulus for brood-rearing as we entered the colder months. My feeding regimen wasn’t steady enough to trigger brood-rearing in the usual way either, but we certainly have a lot of bees in most locations. Some of the hives are so packed that I’m a little nervous about just how quickly they will consume their winter stores (despite a lot of feeding to see them through!). I will definitely be out to check them whenever warm days arise and my university schedule permits. Here is one of the extremely strong hives that I wanted to feed again before the real cold strikes:
It was almost 50F today, with sunshine. Those are near the minimum conditions for healthy flight, so I’ve happily uploaded a video that shows them in action this afternoon These are examples of hives with colony quilt stapled on them rather than the carton that is shown in the previous post.