Since taking this video I've learned that the bees can be "active" all winter. They generally stay "in cluster " around the queen once temperatures drop below 45-55, but the cluster expands and contracts depending on how cold it is, and they rotate position to the outer part of the cluster.
If it is 55 for example the cluster may be loose - with some bees still going outside to forage for any remaining goodies. There is a delicate balance to this "warmer" winter weather because the more active they are the more energy they require in terms of stored food, yet there is not much, if anything, in terms of food coming into the hive. When it is very cold though, they need just enough energy (food) to keep the warmth up within the cluster. They cluster generally right over the honey stores so they dont need to leave the cluster to feed.
On warmer winter days they will take periodic "cleansing flights" - in a sense - going to the bathroom outside, and may do house keeping chores - removing any debris and transitioned bee bodies from the hive floor. They are quite fastidious house keepers - even in the winter!
I'll share more on what Im learning about the balance of temperature and supplemental feeding in the upcoming posts.
Spring Blossom Garden at Grass Lake Sanctuary
40 new trees were planted at Grass Lake Sanctuary near Bee Line Lane. The honey bees are in for a lovely surprise come spring time as the new Blossom Garden comes alive with its full presence - sharing beautiful colors, fragrances, nectars and fruit !
Thank you to the many volunteers and donors who helped bring these gifts to the sanctuary !