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It's still winter in my part of the world. There is a foot of snow on the ground. We have had a few days in the past couple of weeks that were warm enough for cleansing flights. Night time lows are in the teens or single digits above zero.
Today I walked past my hives and there was a lot of flight activity from one hive. Air temps were in the upper thirties, but my hives are in a sheltered opening and in full sun the microclimate was warm enough for bees to fly out and return to the hive. The bees were flying out and landing on the strip of bare ground at the base of the spruce windbreak on the north side of the hives. Some were landing on the snow. They were then returning to the hive.
Are they collecting water? Something else? :scratch:
 

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K. Bees don't eat honey. They dry it to honey consistency because that is stable (won't ferment) but they reliquify it to consume it. A top entrance dries out the hive so much they need to forage for water in the winter. Nevertheless I still like a top entrance rather than risk a too wet hive and also it never gets blocked by snow or dead bees....
 
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