Crazy winter update
NE Alabama here, and the bees have been bringing in pollen since Jan 3. I figured I would have some full boxes today when it got to 65 degrees. I finally went into the hives for their first inspection this year.
All 7 hives are treatment free.
All seem to have wintered well. Very light fall feeding after leaving a super of honey on each in September. We had good weather until late so I fed just a little to backfill the brood chambers.
Best hive had 8 frames of brood and was packed with bees already - had plenty of food and will feed until flow to maintain this. Little room to grow so will add empty super. saw 2 patches of maybe 50 drones capped so figuered these gals were planning on Feb swarm. Sure wish I had access to a queen to do a split.
weakest hive had 3 partial frames of brood. Brood area had been backfilled and left little room for brood.
Saw a couples drones already running around...
cleaned bottom boards, revered boxes etc.
Very happy with everything, but a little worried about Feb weather and already such a buildup... there will be a fine line between keeping these guys fed and overcrowding to the point of swarm, heating issues etc with all the crazy weather.
We will see what it becomes...