The bees broke cluster today. When the mercury inched above 45 degrees I noticed a few carniolans poking their heads out of the top entrance. A half hour later there were hundreds of bees circling in the air taking their cleansing flights and removing their dead sisters from the hive.
When I removed the inner cover I found six frames full of healthy bees with honey to spare. It’s been an easy winter for them, and it looks like they have plenty of honey left to eat until the first blooms in April/May. I set a pollen patty on the top box to stimulate egg laying so the brood will be hatched and ready to go when flowers start showing up.
Hundreds of dead bees littered the slushy ground as the surviving workers cleaned out the hive.
I’ve been putting my ear to the brood boxes every couple weeks to listen for the buzzing cluster that tells me the hive is still alive. Seeing them so healthy really lifted my spirits. Hopefully they’ll have a great spring!