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I checked my hive just a little while ago because we are having a very warm New Years Day, followed up by some hard rain last night. I have several hives that are bringing in boat loads of pollen, looks creamy white in color. Does this mean the queen is already laying or are they just getting ready? Out of 13 hive I only have one that is about empty the rest are still heavy.
 

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Way to rub it in guy's!! We're still under 20 inches or more of snow here in CO and a "nice" day is 36 degree's!! Pretty quiet.
 

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This is the mildest winter I can remember, I saw some dandelions blooming in the yard yesterday, and the starlings are still flying around in flocks, normally this time of year they are long gone. I hope the bees don’t get the notion to start taking off because I know old man winter isn’t done with us yet by a long shot. The only time I have started my snow blower was to change the oil, and get it ready for snow season which hasn’t come yet.
 

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I went through a colony of bees today and found something I almost couldn't believe. The bees have a solid ring of pollen around patches of brood in 3 frames. The brood areas measure about 6 inches diameter. The pollen is pale yellow/cream in color. I saw numerous bees flying in with fresh loads on their legs. I estimate the amount of fresh stored pollen is sufficient to produce about 2 full frames of brood.

So what was it I couldn't believe? Well I had put a couple of empty supers on top of this colony mostly as a place to store them. The bees were actively working in one of the supers and had fresh nectar in 3 combs. This was not re-worked honey, it was fresh nectar thin as water and easily shaken from the comb.

I have seen heavy pollen flows in mid February and I have seen maple honey about the same time or a bit later. I've never seen an active honeyflow the first week of January!

Darrel Jones
 

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>Wow, I think I need to get into my hives soon.

You could probably get away with it Theresa being in North Carolina but around here it's still winter albeit an unbelievably mild one and I'm inclined to let mine be for now. Real winter could still descend on us at any time and I'd just as soon my bees stayed hunkered down with their boxes sealed tight. I checked on them yesterday, they were flying around and all 15 doubles, 2 singles, and 4 nucs were still alive. They're not light so I'm not worried about them starving anytime soon. If they want to conservatively raise a little brood I guess that's OK... but it's not even the middle of January! It should be 15 degrees below zero with a foot of snow on the ground here, not 50 degrees and mud. I thought I heard peepers yesterday!

February could still suck
 

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I hear ya George, a mild winter is nice on the utility bill but a lot of things around here need the winter cycle, like blueberries and apples, and I’m hoping the bees don’t get the urge to get in the spring swing it could be disastrous if they start building faster than their stores could hold out if and when winter slams back home. I do feel jealous that I can’t get back into the hives I miss working the bees.
 

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All of these things concern me too especially the spector of a heavy freeze still hanging over our heads for at least ten more weeks. I also worry about my fruit trees and bushes even though they are 'low chill' varieties supposed to do well in our mild winters. I really am worried about the bees swarming in the next three weeks or so if they keep building like they are. I think the only saving point is that they kicked out all of the drones and will have to make some more. They won't swarm without drones will they? I know it only takes three weeks to make some more. Theresa.
 
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