Bees on a Beautiful Day in February

Here in Southwestern Ontario, we were blessed with a beautiful day in the middle of winter. On a day when some years the high can be -10 degrees celsius, today it was +17. After a January full of cloud, the weather feels simply amazing.

It appears our bees thought so too! They were out in full force, all over the yard in any place that was sunny. What a welcome site! The population for Queen Amelia appears to be strong. After a struggling through the whole year Queen Rosa’s hive died late last fall. Here is a short video showing some activity around Queen Amelia.

For those of you who have been around bees before you’ll know why there are so many dead bees outside the hive. For those of you who haven’t, on warm days, the bees clean out the hive. This includes going to the washroom and removing any dead bees. Over winter the hive reduces to a population of around 10,000 (from around 60,000). Some bees don’t make it through the winter and some general housekeeping helps clean them up.

At this point Queen Amelia’s hive looks good. I didn’t open the hive today as they should have enough honey left over from the summer. On a warm day in March, I hope to open the hive up and have a look at their food stores. We have some leftover honey from Queen Rosa’s hive and can feed this if we need to. It never hurts to have some extra food kicking around.

All this warm weather in February is not good for the trees and other plants, but it sure is a nice respite for the humans, the dog, and the bees. We hope the weather is nice where you are!

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