As I 'speak' we're at 7 degrees above freezing and steady drizzle all morning. Snow is shrinking fast but there will still be mounds left by days end. Checked the girls and they're stayin inside but as the snow shrinks I see the mortality around the hive. I know it's a combination of new deaths in the snow and clean out of deaths over the winter but it's still gets my attention.
The forecast is ideal for maple syrup harvesters. Nights this week as low as 10 below freezing and highs around plus 2 or 3. There is no pollen of any kind unless it's in a greenhouse somewhere.
I have a couple of juvenile maple trees in my yard and I will be watching them closely. They usually 'leak' sap in the spring and it'll be interesting to see if the girls indulge.
I had overwintered them with a candy board as a top cover and they have indulged 'real well'. In fact, I was actually surprised at how much they took. I think I cooked up about 5 pounds of sugar in the fall and it's mostly gone ... maybe 1 pound left.
Did I mention that I also left 3/4 of a medium honey super on top of the 2 brood chambers in the fall? ...so they've been eating.
In the fall I made up some pollen patties from a recipe I found in 'Honeybee' by C. Marina Marchese. I found some in the freezer yesterday, thawed it out and placed between frames in the honey super.
I'm feeding them for now but plan on doing a split soon after I see pollen. Not sure but I think that'll be coming from tree buds.
The firstlink was from the 9th. Here's one I took yesterday (March 10th) at plus 8 and sunny.Bees March 10 2013