New Year’s day marks the half way point in the bee’s winter (October thru March). Only 3 months to go before a few nectar sources begin occurring. Something to look forward to. On warm days in late February the bees may be out and about looking for early season pollen from maple trees.
The lowest temperature in the ECWBA area so far this winter will occur tomorrow morning when the low is expected to be 7﮿F. Based on my bee log this winter has been warmer than last year. By this time last winter several -10﮿F days and one -14﮿F day had already occurred. These warmer conditions should help with the overall winter survival.
More trivia. My records show that eight below 0﮿F nights occurred in January and February last year. Most hives succumb during late January and early February. Well fed and mite free hives, however, won’t have any problem with below zero temperatures. Pre -varroa University of Wisconsin data shows bees can withstand several -40F nights if well fed.
With today’s bright sunshine a few bees ventured forth. Apparently, the combination of direct sun and reflected sunshine off the snow warm the hive entrance. Unfortunately, the ambient air temperature is still too cold. Most bees venturing out soon chill and are seen lying in the snow.
Last night's snow has blocked the lower entrance to the hive. NO PROBLEM, the bees in my hives have an upper entrance. The silver gap you see is the mouse guard, not a wide open entrance.