So this still has me confused. I thought they know not to make brood when it is so cold. Don't they know they will be stuck caring for this brood and not be able to get to the food???
What do they do in the wild?? Do they place the honey all around them in the brood chamber??? This still has me worried as most of the honey left for them is up above in the top super. There were some frames of honey down below, but not much.
I checked on them 2 weeks ago, when we had a warmer day and they still had a whole super full of honey right above them. They were not clustering at that time, they were flying out like crazy.
With the weather this cold right now, it is impossible to open up the hive and do anything. I never heard that I would have to move frames of honey around in the winter. I only knew that I would have to add some frames from my freezer if I looked inside and could not see any more honey on top.
So still confused!!! I am reading and trying to learn what is going on here.
Annette, I know, trying to understand the bees is so confusing. I am still trying to "get it", and I have tried to learn lots.
The bees when it has been warmed a bit, like you had experienced, may have began to raise a little brood, they can't see into the future that it may get really cold suddenly, they live for the day. That is my gist of them. Could be right, could be wrong.
Like Rdy-b was saying, the bees have more of a tendency to move upwards, not sideways. A larger cluster can more easily move sideways than a smaller cluster. That is the importance of the bees going into winter strong. So many people do splits in the fall, I presume they have luck with that, wintering nucs, I have read about it all the time.
Unless my mind can be changed, I would far sooner (in my climate anyways), do the splitting in the spring, when weather is warmer and bees have an easier chance of looking after themselves in smaller colonies. I will always have a quest to go into winter with the biggest colonies I can convince my bees to raise.
Annette, your bees have clustered and unclustered. They probably have moved lots of honey close to their cluster. You must not be so worried, and only way to say it, time will only be the teller of the tale of the winter success. I know that is easy to say, but had to say it. You have gone into winter with lots of stores, I remember you saying that. For that safety net, why don't you put some dry sugar on the inner cover (if you have a hole in the inner cover) if this could alleviate some stress for you. If not, let the bees be bees. It seems to me that you have a pretty short cold period where you live and the bees will soon be breaking cluster again, moving honey closer to them. This is my take on this, and I hope that you may feel a little better. I am not the expert, but these are my thoughts, and I honestly think that things will be OK -- have a wonderful, beautiful day. Cindi