It was in the mid sixties today and the bees were loving it! They were already out when we came down for breakfast, and when we got back from the basketball game the front of the hive was more covered than it’s been since late August. I’m thinking that this is because of a traffic jam caused by the entrance reducer (A little piece of wood which fits just inside the entrance and helps the colony regulate temperature better in the winter – less drafty). I first put it on using the bigger opening on October 19th (see video), and probably turned it around to the smaller opening 3-4 weeks after that when it really started to get cold. With these warm winter days, they have been doing more foraging and the entrance reducer really restricts them from coming and going easily and thusly probably affects how much pollen & nectar they can collect in one day.
You can see the difference; today I decided to take the entrance reducer off for a few hours so they could be more efficient and the traffic jam only took about 4 minutes to clear! I’ll probably put it back on when we leave for our evening festivities because it’s supposed to be pretty cold tonight.
With all the commotion there was a lot to observe – I’ll post about the young bees, varroa mites, dance language, & the chaining behavior I saw today later this week! But in general I would say the girls are doing very well so I’m very happy.