Its almost the end of January and its still pretty cold here in the Mid-Atlantic region. January & February are usually the worst months when it comes to cold and snow in our area. We are currently watching a snow storm which is supposed to hit us later today, tonight, and tomorrow. So, with that and the current temperature around 40 degrees, its a great time to open the hive for a quick inspection and add some food for the remaining winter.
Our bee food is no more than sugar and water put into a feeder and allowed to dry. Normally we would use a liquid feed, but with the worst of the winter still coming, we opted for a solid that the girls can nibble and get enough sustenance to complete the jobs this winter.
Opening up the hive in winter is iffy, so we wanted to make this a very quick inspection: only removing the top and inner cover to expose the top box frames.
There was very little activity in the top box and most of the cells
looked as if they had already been eaten, so I looked deeper to see a flurry of activity in a lower box. This is a great thing to see this time of year and hopefully means we will emerge in spring with a strong, honey rearing colony.
We were not in the hive more than a minute to insure not losing much heat stored from the bee colony. After insuring activity, we closed up the hive and re-wrapped to allow the bees to quickly regain the 90+ degrees they are used to in winter months.