What's the weather been like there? I'm further 'south' than you, but we've only been hovering around 0C during the day, -14C overnight. Bees going out for flights, but the wrap is still on.
Looks like we've already lost 1/6 hives... we'll see how the buildup to the spring goes. There is still snow on the ground, but a lot less than previous years. We've probably had a total accumulation of 15-20" of snow... where normally around here they talk in feet... 5+ feet over the entire winter.
Here is our weather, superimposed on the chart of weight loss on a scale hive over winter. This is from my diary, a somewhat meandering and often irrelevant account of my beekeeping and other adventures begun in 2000. It is at http://www.honeybeeworld.com/diary/
(You might be interested to know that I spend a lot of time in Sudbury. I grew up there and so did my wife).
Actually, it was quite nice when I did it. I would not work all my hives, but sometimes I do pull a frame or two. It is getting near spring and I figured that if I did it and showed what is there, I might spare a few hives that less experienced people might pull apart. This hive will be fine.
This begs the question is was worrying about. It's going to be low 40's the next week or so in CT. I'm really anxious about checking my hives. Would it be warm enough to check them and maybe give some emergency sugar if it looks like they don't have enough honey until the maples bloom?
Our nights are below freezing, but the days are warm and calm. A quick, careful look will not do harm, but there is no need to do more than pull a frame or two. Sometimes just glancing down between frames is sufficient.
Opening hives now is like open heart surgery. Don't do it unless you have a good reason.
we had a lot of flying today in massachusetts. we were busy getting ready to leave for arizona (grrrr...our chickens laid their first egg yesterday, second egg today...won't get a full omelet until we get back).
in any case, took the opportunity to play with my new hd video camera (a weird thing...under $200, a fixed focus lens, and a 60 FRAMES PER SECOND MODE!). what did i notice? a few drones flying along with the workers.
this particular hive seemed to winter differently than the rest of our colonies...they socked away a lot of honey early (they went into winter in 4 deeps, mostly full), and stopped flying before any of the other colonies did...i thought they might have died. the hive is still quite heavy, and only now are the bees starting to really fly on a nice day. it will be interesting to see how they look when things warm up a bit.
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