Re: Made It Thru Winter With More Honey Than Expected
I'm yet another newbie, but on the East Coast rather than the West. We fed our hives into late fall but didn't put much in the way of sugar on them even though most colonies were late-summer starts. As you report, with our early and warm spring, the Carniolan/Russian/Italian contingents all seem to have been flush with honey and I can't determine whether it's early maple flow that they put away or overwintered honey/syrup blend. Of course, that may be because I haven't tried to determine this. I don't know how. [See "newbie" above.]
But apart from a dwindling nuc (possible queen problems?) and a colony with a blown-off hive top in recent bad weather (which colony _may_ actually be recovering), all came through with burgeoning population and big stores. This seems to have been a winter with gross regional variations in survival. Perhaps that's mostly in the amateur field, but I certainly see it reported among amateurs here.
"I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself