Late January Inspection

Today we had temperatures in the mid 60's here in St. Louis...a welcome warm spell from the past couple weeks of 30's! The bees were flying when I got home from work so I took the opportunity to open them up and see how they were doing.

Bee Cluster During Winter

There were bees on top of 6 frames, and occupied both sides of almost 8 frames.

You can see the chunks of hard candy I made for fun and gave to them a few weeks ago.

The picture below shows capped honey in the corner of one of the frames, and uncapped honey (circled in yellow so you can see it easier) in the center.

I pulled several frames and they were still heavy with stores. I was going to inspect all the frames in the top box to see if I could find brood, but the frames were packed so heavily with bees and the propolis was really holding the frames in place!

Rather than risk hurting the queen or rolling bees when we weren't out of winter yet, I decided to leave them alone and closed them back up.

As I was walking back to the garage my son Garrison kept pointing to my veil asking if he could wear it. I unzipped it from the suit, and placed it on him.

He was all smiles as he walked around in it.

Comments For This Post: (2) | Post Your Comments! Hide The Comment Form
Mark Martin says...
Date:   January 31, 2012, 9:55 am

Looks really good.  Any idea when you'd expect to see the queen start laying again?  In February or even earlier?

Chris (Show Me The Honey) says...
Date:   January 31, 2012, 10:54 am

I've read that the winter solstice is a cue that queen bees use as a guide to know when to start producing brood again. Sometimes she'll start right away, sometimes a few weeks later.

I am thinking she's already laying, I just didn't want to disrupt them that much since more cold weather is on the way still. I'll take another look in a week or two and open all the frames to find out for sure, if the weather is cooperating.

We did open the hives at my dad's house a couple of days ago and saw the queen started a small patch of brood in one of his hives already. I'm very excited!

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