I did enjoy Brother Adam’s bee keeping book and base many of my bee keeping habits on his methods.
Brother Adam was a German, and he moved to south England. On that area bees can forage pollen in January.
Mr Adam tells about "severe winter, where temps go even near freezing point".
To me electrict heating teached how really important the heat is for bees.
None of books handle heat economy of beehive in spring build up.
The most amazing thing is that heating gives the biggest advantage to the biggest hives. But it happens after that when the hive have new nurser bees in spring and it does not limit brood rearing.
The cause to that is the formula of ball volume.
When by the help of heat radius grows, how much grows the brood ball volume
An advantage to small colonies is that you may give a frame of emerging brood from bigger hive and heating keeps brood alive. Otherwise big part of brood will die when you give it to a small colony. When I started the heating 10 years ago in April, the nights were often -6C even if days were +10C.
The best way to build up small colonies is to give brood frames.
They do not react much on patty or heating because their ability to make brood area is almost zero. And the cycle of brood is long = 3 weeks.
In my climate brood amount in May rules in honey yield. Eggs are foragers 6-7 weeks later. It is 1,5 month.
If you have 15 frames brood in the middle of May, I have 5-6 boxes bees at the beginning of July.
If I have 2 brood frames, after 1,5 months the colony has so much foragers that it can feed enlargening brood area.
All is consumed to rearing of brood.
But if the bees makes to you only fun, it is same what you do with them. Then it is better to search Welsh jokes. They have much funny stories about sheeps.
. During winter
bees must have winter rest and they are better be in cluster. If they are active during winter, bees will be short life.