It's well over 50 degrees today and the bees are stirring!

We did not expect them to have survived this long, since they had built up relatively little honey reserves over the season. In the early summer they swarmed and then the hive failed at its first attempt to requeen, so in addition to the population loss from the swarm they missed three weeks of laying cycle. Add in that this is a new hive and they had to spend a great deal of energy building out comb, and by the end of the season they had a scant two or three frames of honey laid up.

It's been a fairly mild winter, but we were guessing that they'd starved by this point. Then this morning, when it warmed up, they took an airing out flight. There are several hundred bodies on the snow outside, but not devastating as winter losses go. The hive is still definitely at risk; there's no telling what they've got left for stores and there's still plenty of winter left to turn bitter, but it's looking like there's a chance they'll survive the winter.