Greetings all! Been in lurk mode for a while here, but over the past few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about something. On Thanksgiving day, I consolidated my hives in preparation for the cold weather. I have one hive that was started from a swarm this year that has consistently worked and flew in substantially colder weather than all of the others. On days when my other hives have stayed home and kept warm, these girls consistently are extremely active. While crowding all of the hives together, I put a little window screen on the entrances, for just in case matters. None of my other hives hardly even came and looked out the front door while they were getting moved around. The cold active hive however, produced hundreds of ladies at the front door. This was on a day that was maybe 20 degrees max.
Today, I gave the hives a walk around, and realized that I hadn't ever installed any sort of a top entrance in the active hive. It has a migratory top, and a piece of homasote underneath it. I started cutting away at the homasote to create a top entrance, and all of a sudden, there were hundreds of less than impressed bees checking out the situation. They didn't fly or come after me, but it was evident that they weren't happy.
Is this much activity from a hive in below freezing weather detrimental to their long term success? I wondered if perhaps their propensity to being active in cold weather would lead them to ultimately consume more stores over the winter, and lead them to starvation more quickly. What are your thoughts? Thanks!