Saturday, March 5, 2011
It was a nice balmy day today, with the temperatures in the mid 40's (°F). I did a quick check of the bees in the backyard, just lifting up the cover, and you can see above what I found. There's a 2" shim above the frames that you see there, so that's the space the bees (and sugar) are occupying. Both hives looked about the same - that is good. The white you see is the "bee candy" (sugar patties). Also in there somewhere is a pollen patty - I'm not sure where it is; it could be that gap in the middle.
So unless something drastic happens, I think these two backyard hives will make it. I'll keep checking during the cold weather to make sure there is enough sugar. When the weather warms up, and is relatively steady, I'll start feeding sugar syrup. Also, I haven't seen moisture building up (which is the other thing - besides starvation - which can kill a hive in the winter).
In a related note, I placed an order for two packages of bees (with queens) - the owner of the Sutton hives wants to re-populate them. They should arrive in early April.