We have started the month of December with a veritable HEAT WAVE here in Michigan! It was about 60 degrees on Monday and today it is suppose to be 50. So I figured it would be a good time to check on White Hive without chilling the bees. Since I know the only surplus food the bees have is the honey super that has 9 empty frames and 1 frame of honey. My plan was to remove the super so they didn't have all that extra space to heat during the winter. I put on my veil, grabbed my hive tool and a small zip lock bag with some honey in it to feed back to the bees. I cracked the top open and the girls were instantly PISSED! I had two fly out onto my veil as soon as I lifted the lid. Once I opened the inner cover I had about four more flying around my head. Dang! I have never had them come after me that way before. The last time I opened the hive it was much colder so maybe that motivated them to stay put. I also did not use any smoke.....kinda thought I wouldn't need to, they have always been calm before. Hmmm, hope nothing else is going on. Anyway, I checked the 90% empty honey super and there were quite a few bees sitting on the one honey frame, so my plan to remove the box went out the window. Guess I'll come back when it gets colder and hopefully they won't be in there. I put the inner cover back on, laid my zip lock bag of honey next to the hole in the cover and cut a few holes in the bag and squeezed a bit of the honey out to ring the dinner bell for them =). The outer cover went back on and it was all closed up. I pulled the sticky boards on both hives to see how many mites had dropped and there weren't as many as I'd seen previously but there were a few. I wonder if grooming habits increase when the bees are more tightly clustered?
Sorry, no pictures this time. I did have my camera with me during the inspection, but I ended up being a bit stressed by their reaction and wanted to close them up ASAP! I'll check on them again around the new year probably. Until then, thanks for reading.