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About the middle of January every winter I check my bees looking for those hogs who are in the process of eating their way thru all their stores and the supplemental mountain camp sugar I add. actually had to put on a veil and gloves because the bees were active as the temp was in the low fifties. Normally, all I see are little bodies arched upward with stingers exposed and glistening. I found one for sure that would have starved out as every grain of the ten pounds of sugar I give each colony had been consumed. Another colony was not far behind and those two colonies have volunteered to be used up making nucs. Both are boxes loaded with bees. Lots of bees in all my hives!

Due to a really open winter and many flying days, most all the colonies have eaten thru the honey stacked on the top bars. Normally only a few have broken thru the sugar by mid February when I insert the first pollen pattie to encourage brood rearing. I would imagine, with this mild winter, I already have a fair number of colonies initiating brood rearing.

A dozen stings on the hands and not a puffed up spot anywhere. Hopefully it will help my arthritis. Good to see the bees
 

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I just opened the lids on the hives last weekend when the temperatures were in the 50's. Gloves and a jacket are a necessity this time of year since the bees get really nasty and pour out of the hives when disturbed. I checked for missing sugar bricks and replace the ones that were consumed. In the next week or so, pollen patties will be added to start them brooding up for the spring flow. I have been doing this for 8 seasons and never got a spring honey harvest. Maybe this year!
 

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Glad they are doing well Vance, strong hives in the spring gives you a lot of options. i am also enjoying the mild winter, but fear the lack of snow pack. my bees landed in California this week and got their first patties and a shot of feed. They are looking as good as they ever have, i'm looking forward to making splits in 3 months.
 
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