We had temps in the 50's yesterday morning so I went down to do a full inspection on my one hive.
I have a two deep configuration. The girls have been in the upper deep for about a month. That deep is still very heavy with honey stores. I took it off and looked at the empty lower deep. There are still about 5 frames of honey and varying amounts of pollen in some of the otherwise empty brood frames. Since there were no bees in the lower deep, I took the time to scrape all the frames and frames rests so the manipulation would be easier later on. There was a small patch of abandoned brood in there, about the size of a fifty cent piece. I cleaned off the bottom board, lots of bees and debris.
The upper deep took awhile to inspect, but I basically have 6 full frames of bees and lots of honey. I didn't see the queen, but she's a good hider and in fact I haven't actually seen her since last July. I'm pretty sure she's there.
Now that I've seen exactly how big the cluster is and how large the amount of honey is in the hive, I feel better about them making it through. Granted, we've had a mild winter. Has anyone else done a full inspection yet?