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With multiple 50+ degree days, my bees have been more active than usual by this time of year. Is it too early to put Ultra Bee Patties on?
 

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I put some on yesterday. Not too early.
 

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Just have a plan! The patties are going to ramp up brood production. Once started feeding them, you cannot stop without damaging the colony. What are you going to do with this critical mass of bees that will be really ripe come swarm time? A plan is required.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I have had patties in since early January waaay down south here in Richmond. The cold front that moved through had the girls cooped up for a few days. Today got up to mid 60's. Came out this morning to find both vehicles covered in bee poop. I guess that is a good thing?
 

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Just have a plan! The patties are going to ramp up brood production. Once started feeding them, you cannot stop without damaging the colony. What are you going to do with this critical mass of bees that will be really ripe come swarm time? A plan is required.
everybody in central NY is hanging old equipment in trees around aran's house looking for early swarms:D
 

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aran how heavy were your hives? I actually had a heavy 3 deep starve, looks like the queen didn't shut down, just kept on laying, hopefully some of the snow melted over night, only could get into one yard, the snow is to deep in the rest. Most of my hives were froze in so couldn't test them for weight.
 

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both the dead outs had plenty of honey left both in the double deep brood chambers and in the supers above.
I had one colony which went into winter with only 2 deeps and they too have honey still in the top box. I did put a full super of honey on top of them from the deadouts though.
I did heft a couple hives back when no bees met me at the top when i removed the quilt box. VERY HEAVY.
-> put the endoscope into those hives and large clusters were in the 2nd deep brood box with plenty of honey left in that box + 2 or more medium supers above. I have TONS Of extra honey on the hives i left them too heavy i think in hindsight
 

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to date has been a good winter for my bees. Hoping the next month passes quickly with no further losses. Im at <5% losses so far.
 

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. I have TONS Of extra honey on the hives i left them too heavy i think in hindsight
I always think that this time of year but they will eat it up when the brood rearing really starts going.
 

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Just be prepared to feed, feed, and feed again. Like Vance said once you start you can't stop until mother nature really kicks spring in, or you will have have damage to the hive. These warm snaps are where a lot of bees loose the battle of winter. once they start rearing brood and then it gets cold again they can't get that feed value back, even by cannibalizing the young.
Honestly you'd be better off just putting on straight carbohydrates and waiting another couple of weeks before adding pollen depending on your latitude.
Aaron
 

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What are the early blooming trees doing in your Location? the witch hazel bush, soft maples and elms?

Here we had first pollen on 2/17 from elms, witch hazel began blooming about the 2/12, first soft maples blooms opened about 2/20. Not alot of pollen coming in,but some in dribs and drabs- not alot of good forage temperatures for the bees yet.

This early (remember weather in late Feb and early March can be a witch) I like to put out dry pollen in feeders close by the hives, some I put out on 2/10. They mob them on good days and don't need hours and hours of warm temps to collect it like they do when foraging trees. Dry sub eases them into spring. Middle-late March is when I put patties on the bees to push them, they can consume the patty no matter the weather like a constant good pollen bloom. Not all my yards get pollen, only the ones that are normally pollen shy.
I am on the coast and cold ocean and bay water temperatures keep daytime highs lower here than in inland locations.

Most bees run out of stores here the last of Feb through March.
They need carbs before they need protein- now.
They need both to brood up-later in March.
Spring is ahead of itself this year (2-3 weeks), manage the bees accordingly.
 

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Spring is ahead of itself this year (2-3 weeks), manage the bees accordingly.
well I dug down through the snow, but hit ice before I could find anything blooming, luckily one of my land owners snow blew a way into one yard, and two other yards I was able to walk in on the neighbors snowmobile trails. Forecast is for a large snow storm out of the midwest coming in later in the week, my driveway has 2 inches of ice on it, I would say yup, spring is right about on time. the good news, there is a lot of mustard snow in all the yards I was able to get into. Forecast for tomorrow is rain, I may even get into the last couple.
 

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Must be different there in mid- york compared to southern NY,
downstate we look up for early blooms instead of down. :)

Our forecast for that storm is rain.

Lots of pumpkin orange pollen being brought in today, even saw some mouse eared chickweed blooming and a lone dandelion but bees
are in the trees.
Go figure.
 

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looking at the weather channel its going to cool down into the 20s for the weekend but no significant snow accumulations are expected where im at.
 

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looking at the weather channel its going to cool down into the 20s for the weekend but no significant snow accumulations are expected where im at.
they seem to all be confused, I'm putting the plow back on the truck

“It remains too early for specifics, but snowfall accumulations over the 3-day period from Thursday through Saturday may be measured in feet,” the National Weather Service said.
 

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Don't you guys have any skunk cabbage? they bloom right through the snow- actually melt it I think.
But the bees can really bulk up on those snow drops!
 

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Don't you guys have any skunk cabbage? they bloom right through the snow- actually melt it I think.
sure loads of it, but it's still frozen in the ground. Aran may be closer to getting some he doesn't have the snow we have over here.
 
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