I'm first year beekeeper with a few questions about managing for highly variable spring temps. As an example: a week ago it was close to 60 degrees here in Wisconsin; today it's 19 degrees. For the rest of March and for a good portion of April, I think I can expect these types of temperature swings.
I haven't cracked open my hive to inspect for brood, eggs, queen, etc. Around here, I think that would be premature. But the bees are still alive and the super of honey I left on for overwintering seems relatively full (at least based on a quick look under the inner cover). Later in the month, or in early April, my hope is to do my first comprehensive inspection, weather cooperating. I know there's debate about whether it's a good idea or not, but I plan to reverse the two brood chambers (assuming the queen is currently laying in the top one). My concern in doing this is cutting off the bees from the super of honey (since the brood will be in the bottom, with a deep between the bees and the honey). My questions are: 1) is this a valid concern?; 2) how frequently do bees need to eat? can they go a few days "away" from the honey?; and 3) at what outside temperature is the cluster "loose" enough that the bees can move relatively freely and thus access the honey above?
I'd love to hear your all's thoughts. Thanks for your time.