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Bynow everyone knows about the three major polar vortexes the upper midwest, and many other parts of the country experienced this winter. I am in St. Paul, MN and went into winter with 3 hives. I knew one would perish unless it turned out to be a mild winter. The other two I thought were on equal ground and stood a fair chance of surving. In the end I came out with one really strong hive. This is the first winter in a long time where atleast one hive pulled through. I am very excited to start a second season off with a locally and naturally mated queen. They started off as a Carniolan 5 frame nuc, and now may have other genetics as well.

Lots of activity, and I have already seen a few bees coming home with some pollen, but I have no idea what would be blooming so early here in MN. My best guess is that there is a south facing micro climate that is pushing up some tulips or some other early flowering bulb. Any thoughts? I am also pretty sure the queen has already started laying. I haven't done an official inspection yet, but will probably do it sometime next week if weather allows.

While I am not opposed to treating bees, I am trying to avoid it if I can. Any advice for a second year colony. I am just assuming that varroa is present, and will probably try using powder sugar to help with the grooming. There was a bit of evidence of nosema, but assuming they can get access to clean water and the soon emerging forage, they should bounce back from that, correct?

I am also planning on doing atleast one split off this colony, but I am curious if anyone this far north is doing more than one split, and what are some pointers and things to look out for if attempting this.

Thanks in advance, and I am just so stoked that I have a colony that survived the worst winter in over 30 years!! Peace and Cheers ...
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