I have a couple of beginner's winterizing questions. This may be kind of silly, but I'm supposed to remove my Apistan strips in the next week or so. I live in Maryland, and it's currently kind of cold. Do I need to worry about chilling the hive if I open it to remove the strips? Should I just wait for the warmest, sunniest day and hope for the best?
Second question, my hive is now two years old. Do I need to requeen in the spring? My bees made it through last winter despite my neglect. Now that I'm actually paying attention I'm afraid they may not overwinter, in which case I will need bees and a queen. How will I know if the colony is surviving without opening it (not a good idea in the winter) in time to know whether to order just a queen or a package of bees too?