One of the hives I inspected today had what looked like newly capped honey. It was in the upper deep of a 2 deep brood setup. There is a super up top that stayed there during the winter. The super is empty. They did not draw comb on the foundation last summer and have not started to yet this year. The caps on the honey were as white as snow and the honey was very light in color, almost clear. It looked like what I would expect to see in early June, not mid March. We have had a brutally cold winter (for us) and have had very few 60 degree days until the last 2 weeks. The only thing I know that is blooming is dandelions and henbit and those have been blooming for about a week. Red Maples are turning red now so I guess they are blooming too.
Could this be honey from last year that the bees moved up from the bottom deep? I did find fresh nectar in all hives, but no other hive had any freshly capped honey. The fresh looking honey is also in a hive that wasn't overly full of bees. I don't see how there are enough bees in the hive to produce that much new honey but I don't see how honey from last year, especially fall honey could be so light in color, with white caps on it. It also looks fresh, not dehydrated as much as cured honey.
I located the queen in the hive and saw no hatched or constructed queen cells to suggest that the hive had swarmed.
I'm south of both of you and noticed the same thing 2 weeks ago. At the time the maples were just starting to bloom. I added supers to three of my larger hives to make room because the upper deeps were loaded with honey, pollen and capped brood. I also added another deep to a hive that over wintered in a single deep. That hive has almost drawn comb on all the frames in that new box. I'm loving it!
I've talked to some other folks that were experiencing the same things. It's crazy considering how cold it's been. My bees were bringing in pollen all winter! If it was 40 degrees or better then the foragers were out.
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