Today we hit mid-40s here in Minneapolis. We weren’t the only ones on the homestead enjoying the warmer temps – look who revealed themselves!
If you followed along in the Fall, you might recall my uncertainty about these hives’ ability to survive the winter, especially because of inadequate honey stores. We didn’t harvest any honey, but they had a late start to a short season and had to draw all new comb before putting up stores. Seeing this front hive buzzing away is so encouraging!
The hive in the background was our strongest hive until some robber bees (maybe our hive that survived?) invaded and took their honey. Their stores were good in August, but they had next to none in November. We were fairly certain that this hive would not make it as it was too late to feed the bees and winter here is long. Warm temps will continue in the coming days, so we plan to open up the hives this weekend to check things out. Where we haven’t seen any bees leave that hive, we’re pretty certain they’re gone, though. But hey, if we lose one and keep one, that’s pretty good for the first year and given the current bee epidemic. I’ll take it.
I hear from experienced beekeepers that we’re not in the clear yet, though. Early Spring is a hard time on the bees until the pollen and nectar come in full force. Here’s to hoping, and learning a ton!
From later in the weekend when we finally opened up the hive. So nice to just see the ladies buzzing about!