Moonshae, to add on a little bit to this topic. Bees can go a very long time without going out for a cleansing flight. For example, where Finsky is, in Finland, it is so cold for so long, that the bees stay within the colony for the winter sleep. It is several months before the bees in his country are able to take a cleansing flight. I think he may have said four or five months.
Bees are remarkable in how they can manage their climate that they live in. If they are in their winter cluster for long periods of time, they do not eat very much food, they are clustered. It is when they break cluster that they really begin to consume lots of food. In the cluster, they are concentrating on keeping this cluster warm by vibration of their thorax muscles.
If the hives are kept in a warm basement for example, they will eat lots of food and of course, then will need to get out for cleansing flights. This can be disasterous if the weather is so cold outside that they freeze the moment they go outdoors.
Finsky has said that observation hives are not in very good condition after the winter. I believe that. There is lots of food for thought here, not wanting to burst your bubble, but we need to really understand the biology of the bee to understand what is going on within. I am one that needs further study, I recognize that, that is one of the reasons that I love to spend time on this forum, I listen and I am learning. Have a beautiful and wonderful day, we all are learning. Cindi