When to go to winter cluster
And remember, my country is at same altitude as Alaska. I am just at same latitude as Anchorage.
Me no USA, me mites.
I just opened 5 hives and I moved couple of capped food frames to the nuc, which had no feeding.
Hives were in cluster. Hives had propably some brood in one or two frames after feeding.
Bees were stiff like in sleep. They were clearly in wintering mode. When I moved one frame with bees to the nuc,
bees were not able even to walk.
Our weathers have been here during day +7 to 10 C and at night about +2C. Last night was first real frost night -5C.
So bees are clearly in food saving mode. Clusters were in front of entrance . Most of the hive room did not have bees. They are silent together.
To me this is a clear winter cluster. If the colony was in two boxes, bees made a 2-store tower against the front wall. That is usual.
One hive had 3 frames brood, but it had started to pull off capped brood. Part of capping were more or less broken and white brood were half eaten.
Bees do not waste protein of brood. They eat them.
One hive was restless. Bees walked actively. I took a queen to another hive 2 weeks ago. It has not reared a new queen.
I joined it to another nuc.
It was difficult to draw capped frames from the hive, because bees do not moved and some was clearly squeezed between frames.
Post Scriptum: Honey bee is a southern animal. It has never been wild in Finnish nature. Honeybee make a saving mode cluster of course in warm climate because it must save stores to next season. It makes winter cluster even if there are no hard frost weathers or snow outside.
The original place, where honeybees have developed, are Mediterranean countries.
But there are high mountains too on area and cold weathers. Honey bees is flexible animal.
But there are much bee strains and races in Europe, which do not survive in our climate.