Winter is when I most feel a beginner now. I guess that's a good thing (it's not as much in the sumer now! ) but it's still frustrating.

Question 1 - I would swear the bees in one hive were orienting. Seems a little early, don't you think?

#2 - If it ends up a heavily populated hive, when could I possibly do a walk-away split? I don't really know when drones start appearing. Any other indicators? (Usually nucs ship around the end of April in these parts. Does that help?) I plan to ask folks at our club but most of my questions get an "I don't know." My winter notes from last year show me doing a checkerboard on Feb. 26 and having lots of brood by 3/19 - if that helps.

Thanks for any input.