Sawdstmakr.....you leave a super on the hive all winter? 5 frames of honey. I'm in central Fl and wondered how much I should leave them. I pulled some after the 2 swarms...but left them 2 frames. The cabbage palms are still blooming and the pepperbush should start in the fall.
Last year was so warm until mid February that the bees were bringing in nectar and pollen on and off. Part of my concern was that they were going to swarm hence the 5 foundation frames. In the spring they ended up using most of it. I only ended up with 2 supers of dark (winter) honey. I did get 2 swarms in January, from someone else's hives. I just added 5 supers to my hives tonight and need to get another one on a hive in my out apiary. I would have put them on sooner but we ran out of frames and they just came in yesterday. We caught a swarm yesterday in palm tree 10 feet from my hives. I checked the tops (STB) of all 16 of the hives here and none of them look like they could have swarmed. The flow is still on strong here. It may have come from the hive in the out apiary or one of 2 other local apiaries. I will bee pulling honey in another week or so. All of the hives are very heavy and still bringing in honey. In October again, I plan on setting up all of the hives with 5 frames of honey and 5 frames of foundation. It probably would not work up north but it did work here.
I do need to mention that I keep a hive at my farm, 60 miles to the west and they have been loosing weight for a couple of months now. They had a full medium super and it is getting pretty light. They are there for my wife's garden.