After a particularly harsh winter (record snow cover, record snow depth, record cold temps) we had a relatively warm sunny day reaching about 50 F and went to check the condition of the bees and of food stores.
First, I don't know how many I should have this time of year, but it seems like a healthy crowd. (We didn't open the hive competely to avoid the chill, but looking down from above.) Here's a picture:
We also pulled one of the deep frames part-way up to check for honey stores. We could still see plenty. This frame is the second frame from the southern-most side of the hive.
Questions: We decided not to feed at this point. Is that the smart choice?
We also noticed that the wooden-frames seem to have warped in the cold to the point where gaps have formed between the two deeps. I would have thought the bees would fill these gaps with propolis, but it doesn't appear they have. Cracks on the north side seem to have some bees stuck (yes dead :-( in the cracks. On the South side, the seem to working on the gaps. See the pictures:
For now we placed some Duct-Tape over the cracks to cut down the drafts as we still have some near zero weather yet this winter. Is there anything else we should do to keep this from happening? (The hive has good top ventilation and a SBB).