Tues. I noticed the red maples bordering the edge of our property are flowering. This is supposed to be an important source of pollen for bees. Didn't see any bees in the trees, though. However, bees were returning to the hive loaded with pollen.
The weather was so nice, I started removing the bee cozy from one of the hives, then thought better of it and left the other hive with theirs on. When I went to the "Bee School" in early March, run by the Eastern CT Beekeeper's Association, Adam Fuller (our instructor) suggested we remove the feeders at the end of winter and clean them out. So that was my plan. I tried to pry out the feeder out of the first hive but it wouldn't budge. The bees had incorporated it solidly into their hive - there were wax cells all the way around. And as it wasn't as warm as I thought it was, the wax was still a bit hard and tough. So I gave up. Also, the bees were behaving differently than when I've opened up a hive to have a look. The forager bees came flying out as usual with all the disturbance, but then they all landed in a cloud, all over the bag of pine needles, all over my box of bee hive tools, and all over the inner lid when I gave up and put it back on. I had quite a job persuading them to get off the lid so I could put on the outer lid without squashing them all, and for the first time, had a job trying to get them out of my pine needle bag and off the box of tools. Never had to do that before. Was it just that they were cold and not able to fly so well? As a result, I decided to leave the second hive alone and try them when it gets warmer.