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But some are a little worse for the wear. I have wintered 6 hives of bees with minimal intervention. This time last year, I had one hive and 2 on the way. I was able to build and split and make 6 sucessful colonies to make it thru the winter, a rather cold one at that.

I went thru my hives the past 2 days. The 2 at the farm survived the winter on minimal stores of honey and are building up fine for the spring flows.

One of the 4 hives at the house lost the queen this spring. She may have just run out of eggs or died of old age. I know she was at least 2 seasons old. It was the original hive that struggled from day one that I started with it. I put a frame of fresh eggs today from another hive and they should start making a new queen soon. They came from a good strong hive, so that one will have the same genetics and traits by a few months from now.

2 of the other hives were in great shape and all I had to do was inspect and do some house keeping.

The last hive was a surprise. They clustered this winter in the lower box and have been busy drawing out fresh comb and honey in the top box. I had 2 frames of fresh white capped honey today in that hive. We just had a inch of snow Sunday and not much blooming, everything dead and brown. But they must have worked on the maples and made the honey from them.

Hopefully by the end of May I can make more splits and maybe get a little honey to boot. My goal is 12 hives by the end of this year.
 

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Maybe maples, maybe robbing and maybe a neighbor is open feeding:<} Maples not thinking of blooming here and we don't have enough for a flow. Might get some pollen. The elm should be blooming by now but I haven't been in hives where I would see the distinctive tar looking gray pollen. Sounds like you are doing things right! Keep an eye on the mites. Second year colonies been known to crash cause of them.
 

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Pollen coming in is yellow. They have been bringing it in and there were frames of it in several hives. I have an abundance of silver maples around, and they are all blooming in the past few weeks. I just never realized it was a nectar source.
 

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Maples are a great nectar source when there is enough fair weather for them to bring it in, and the pale honey with white cappings you describe is it.
 
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