Second year in beekeeping. In northwest Indiana so still a chilly 40-50 degrees here. Overwintered 2 colonies. One had swarmed in late July and went into the winter looking puny but is absolutely strong and robust looking on warmer days. The colony that went into the winter looking strong is terribly puny. Little activity on the warmer days (especially compared to the other hive) .
I did take a peark when the weather was a bit warmer a few days ago and there is still a little cluster of bees in the top deep. Its not been warm enough to pull the hive apart to explore more.
Since there is still a cluster, I should expect the queen to have made it this far, yes?
Is there anything I can do to help them make it through the early weeks of spring before we start having any kind of nectar flow? Intuitively I am thinking of feeding sugar water but am reading this can have negative consequences if the weather hasn't quite warmed up.
As a general question, is there anything else I can do to encourage the cluster to start moving around and preparing for spring?
Going into spring with 2 colonies would be absolutely great. Just appreciate insight in how you baby these weaker ones before the spring blooms begin