Re: When to Harvest Honey?
For me, I've been surprised at how much honey is in a good hive when I take a peek during a January thaw only to be shocked at how much honey is used between then and first bloom. The queen is starting to lay in late winter so that the young bees are ready to fly when the first flowers bloom. I think it's easy to forget the first flowers. Around here it's silver maple, willow, skunk cabbage, etc., and it's not uncommon to see the bees bringing in pollen on a nice day in early March even with snow on the ground. Those flights burn fuel!
Stores that look ample in mid-winter can go critically dry in late winter / early spring due to overall hive activity. Many of us have experienced the elation of seeing cleansing flights during mild winter days only to find a deadouts in the spring due to starvation.
Remaining honey in a hive at the end of the winter is quickly used and I personally think it's important for a colony to kick of the year with a little reserve so that they have energy to burn. It sounds to me like you're in good shape but I'd still keep a close eye on the stores as you enter spring and feed if needed. Note that feeding cool syrup on a cool day will only make you feel better. Feed it warm and often or add sugar / fondant, etc., if you decide you need to give them a little help.
"My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"