Sunday. Today, for the first time since November, I opened up the two hives to see how the bees had fared over winter! Very nervous! I had not wanted to open them up while it was cold or windy out, but this was a nice warm day!
When I got there, there were clouds of bees leaving the hive and returning on foraging missions. I opened it up, and the indoor worker bees were busy at work with their indoor duties. And! It took me a while to get the frame out on the edge, it was really stuck in place! But when I finally got it out, I could see that there was still quite a lot of honey in storage combs - still many white capped cells (stored honey)! Success! If you haven't managed to ensure that your bees get enough food in the fall, they can run out of stored honey keeping warm all winter and starve just as the winter ends! I wasn't sure if I needed to do this, but I put honey/pollen patties in both hives for them to feed on.
I also noticed a large number of skunk cabbage flowers poking up all over the place in this one section of field! And this time I did see bees flying in and out of some!