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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've had a mild winter, with highs in the 60's and lows in the high 20's and very little snow. The bees have been very active - bringing in loads of pale yellow and now orange pollen. They have plenty of stores and some feed I provided late last Fall. I've only opened the inner cover - have not popped the seals on the 2 deep brood box, have not pulled out any frames, etc. Each time I peek in the top of the hives, population is high and the bees are active. I've seen a few drones, which is unheard of in our area of this time of year.

Question: When should I perform a real inspection? I'm hesitant to pop the seals in case we get more weather. There is some moisture in the forecast, but temps are still forecasted to be high (for this time of year) in the 50's and lows in the high 20's.

Concern: High population and lots of honey stores - could they feel boxed in and get antsy and decide to swarm early? Do they have room for brood? I know they are raising brood, I can smell it. Others in my club are feeding syrup as supplemental feed - should I?

My gut: Wait 2-3 more weeks before performing a hive inspection. Do not feed pollen protein (they have a strong source, based on the loads workers are bringing in now) and hold off on syrup so as not to simulate a nectar flow that would promote more brood raising. Cold weather can show back up here any time between now and late March and I need the bees to cluster to survive rather than remain diligently on the brood and die.

On the flip-side, the chances of long periods of cold weather are going down - why not let the bees build up so I can split this spring? There is a strong population - could they keep the brood warm with their high numbers?

My goal: lots of strong colonies just in time for the early season flow! After last year's no honey harvest, let's get some honey this year to restock my dwindling supply! :applause:

This is an unusual problem for me. Usually my bees are small clusters or dead this time of year and typically winter still has a stronghold on our area.

Experiences Beeks, please weigh in!
 

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Howdy Sunny...Its really cold here, and I'm jealous of your temps...
If the bugs are flying in and out and not dying in the snow then there's no immediate danger
of them getting to cold, or the brood either, if you open it up for a short check.
It sounds like the real dangers you have is SWARMing and starving.....I would crack it open and take a short look see, and remedy any overcrowding if needed, maybe reverse the deeps if the
bottom one is empty....They might need some feed if they're raising brood and have no stores, maybe have a suger brick ready, maybe a boardman feeder is temps are mostly above freezing...
JMHO

==McBee7==
 

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I agree with McBee. If temps are in the 60's and wind is light to moderate, I would go in and inspect, make sure they have sufficient room. I had to go in the top of my hives to check sugar and top off as needed.

When I put things back together I duct tape the seams where the boxes meet to re-seal the cracked seals.

I agree with you about NOT feeding pollen sub.

Phil
 

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This afternoon temp is 38 degrees bees flying good. Bringing some kind of pollen. All 6 hives and still going, but Ive been feeding dry sugar cause of all rain last summer. Also put pollen patty in all of them. The girls in top boxes and eating pollen patties and sugars. Not much longer and spring will be here! Steve
 

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SunnyR, Go with your gut feeling they will be just fine until around the 2nd or 3rd wk of Mar. Open stuff up at
that time.
 

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Sunny, Howdy neighbor and I hope to see you at the 4 Corner's seminar in March. Up here in Grand Junction we've had a bitter winter as usual and the Honey's have only been flying for a month now. When the temperature hit 60 on Feb. 16th we did hive inspections and honey stores redistribution amongst the surviving hives, earliest time for us in 4 years. The Chinese elms bloomed 2 weeks early here and the bees are bringing in white creamy pollen. We have new bees and expect drones next. As for feeding, I only feed honey after they start bringing in pollen and started this week with a 4 gallon bucket of comb and honey 75' away from bee yards. Water is the most important item they need now here since irrigation water will not be on until mid April.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sticky Bear, I don't see you on the sign-up sheet (assuming your name is Jack Moore). You should come check it out. I am the person in charge of the registration and look forward to meeting you at the seminar.
 
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