As a newbie beekeeper I thought the bees just kept within the hive during the winter, leaving the hive infrequently. I know things are different on the coast because we rarely get snow, but we get loads of cold winds and driving rains. So it’s to my surprise that the bees are so active. They are actually bringing in pollen during January and early February. I’m hoping the yellow pollen is gorse, because everyone around here hates gorse so much (with good reason…it’s blamed for burning the town down in 1936), I’d like to know gorse is good for something, especially since it usually blooms early February.
I’m concerned about the Warre hive. The top video shows the front of the hive with the bees bringing in yellow and orange pollen and through the observation window in back. I’d like some advice from more knowledgeable beekeepers about what to do. I almost nadired another box underneath, had planned for the forecasted hottest part of the day at 55 deg.F (12 deg.C) but then the temperature turned cool. Should I add another box so they can grow into it before they swarm or should I wait for a few more weeks because the winter weather will return the latter part of February and into March? Another box means they have to heat it. I’ve got a dry sugar pad above the box as a just in case food source.
The log hive below looks very strong, lots of activity whenever the sun comes out and the temps are in the 50’s (10 C) bringing in pollen during January and February. Those bees came from a feral tree hive. I’m leaving them alone to fend for themselves. I’m hoping the hive will act as an undisturbed ecosystem…bees adapting to survive mites and other pests.
Hope to have another log hive in place before they swarm.