|This Goldfinch says spring is coming. The feathers are starting to change to bright yellow.|
Spring is coming, we can start feeding our bees syrup and pollen patties in about three weeks to a month,
February is almost half over. We are getting hammered with some snow, but the below zero temperatures seem to have gone away, at least for the near term.
Not much to do on the bee front at the moment. When I look forward, to early next week, there is some sub zero in the forecast for a day or two. Long term extended outlooks look more seasonal as we approach March.
We are now getting into the danger period of over wintered colonies. The queen will begin laying soon. Once brood rearing has begun in the hive, the cluster loses some of its mobility. The bees will not leave the brood and cannot just move to more honey if their stores begin to get depleted around the brood. The bees can move to honey and bring it back to the brood area. This is not a problem when the daily highs are in the 20's. If the weather turns cold, near zero, with cold days, the bees cannot move to more honey very easily. Starvation can occur if the cold event is three consecutive days or more, even though honey is in the hive. One day of very cold temperatures is usually not a problem. As beekeepers, we need to get the bees over the hump and to the balmier month of March.
If the temperatures stays seasonal there is usually not much worry of starvation. If it gets cold, starvation can happen. There are some emergency food options that can be used, winter patties, fondant, sugar can all be used for this emergency food. Winter patties purchased from Nature's Nectar LLC are now just the sugar premix. The beekeeper needs to put the sugar premix on a sheet of wax paper and flatten out the premix to make the patty.
Spring will be here soon and we can put this winter behind us.