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So I thought I would put these two questions in the same thread to save time. And I think that not really many people have asked this before.

Given that overwintering is what we're all worried about in having the honey bees survive, I was thinking, is there a better chance for a bee colony to survive the winter if its experienced a small dearth before winter even starts? Like lets say I had an even number of colonies that experienced dearth before winter, and an even number that experienced no hardships or dearth and then both groups of colonies went into winter, which do you think would survive more if other things are fairly even?

(I don't see a thread about experiencing resource shortages in hives as it affects overwintering, unless I've missed it somewhere.)

Another question,

Would bees be gentler if you handled them at night? And can bees see at night? I know that most bees are generally pretty gentle already, except for people seem to say that Russian bees can get a bit feisty, but I had wondered how things would be different in handling them after dark at night or right around right before dawn. Would it lower the need for smokers? I also haven't really seen much in research or statements by beeks about their ability to react to stuff like flashlights or absence of light, or a mix in between.
 

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The bees will fly toward white light at night but they also become crawlers with a propensity to sting. If you have a ***** in your armor they'll pay it a visit, not bashful about crawling up your pants leg either. Go ahead and test the hypothis, the bees will give you up close and personal feedback.

You're overwintering hypothetical is focused on stores, aka a dearth. Read up on taking care of the winter bees and taking care of the bees that take care of the winter bees. Randy Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping is a good source. They can have all the honey they could possibly use but if your winter bees have been compromised by mites, forced to become foragers, etc, their chances of surviving winter diminishes

empirical observation, bees don't see red light but I've had some drawn to an LED headlamp; I assume there something about the LED bulb that allows them to get a bearing on the lamp
 

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I made the mistake of taking hive top off at night with a floodlight(on house) shinning in the direction of the hive. They swarmed me and chased me into the house. Then I had to kill around a dozen that came inside on me.
 

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Maybe with a dearth the bee population diminishes, thus setting themselves up for a smaller colony in the winter that'll go through their stores more slowly?

I actually have absolutely no idea, but winter's basically a dearth, no?
 
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