Surviving the Winter

 My bees making the most of a warm day to defecate outside the hive and forage.
Warm is relative 45 to 50 degrees. 

Winters are a hard time for honey bees as they like it warm since they are cold blooded and do not hibernate. So during the winter they kick out the drones and form a cluster around the queen on the brood area of the hive. The workers create heat to keep the temp in the hive at about 90 degrees. Because of this you have to watch out that condensation doesn't happen, so many keepers will put a shim under the edge of the top cover to allow ventilation. I have don this. Because they are creating all of this heat they need food. As said before honey is the carbohydrate and pollen is the protein. It is best for them to get their food from their honey store and pollen from nature. But sometimes you have to supplement. I am going to use fondant for the carbs and ultra Bee for pollen. Normally I use sugar water but the fondant will cause less condensation. On warm days, 45-50 degrees, I have been able to check on their supplies. And noticed that my ladies are finding pollen as see below.

We are already starting to see some blooms on the Red maples in Upstate SC.
Many bees do die as they all work to keep the hive alive.

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