As for whether this warm weather is a good or bad thing for the bees is hard to say. On the plus size they are building up faster. On the down side we could end up having a longer and drier summer than last year. I also worry that warm weather will allow for predators to get an earlier start as well and having already seen a few yellow jackets around that's not a good thing. There is also a real concern that we will get a storm that will cutoff the hives food supply for a few days. Hives are using about a 100% of what they are bringing in to raise brood and don't keep much of a reserve for bad weather.
Crocus blooms appearing at the end of winter are a sign that spring is on the way and are an excellent pollen food source. They are easy to grow and like well drained soils that get a good amount of sunlight. If you are relaxed about your lawn care, Crocus can even be naturalized into yards for a splash of early spring color. Crocus come in a variety of colors and they bloom from fall to spring. If you are a fan of saffron, it is made from the dried stigmas of the fall blooming Crocus sativus. Unlike bulb flowers the Crocus corms gets completely absorbed into the flower and leaves during the bloom cycle and then will make new corms as the plant goes dormant again, so be careful not to destroy the plant during the growing cycle.
Hive checks (2/8/2015)
I saw some eggs in the center of cells, but I suspect this is the work of a laying worker at this point. No signs of a queen present.
There are several frames of bees and I did not see the queen or signs of the queen.
The queen looks good and has a nice following of nurse bees.
New bees are emerging.
Hive checks (2/10/2015)
Solis & Rose Nuc
Combined these hives together. The Solis hive had a small patch of brood which was good to see. There weren't many bees in the Rose Nuc, but their addition doubles the population of the Solis hive. Having been queenless they should take to the new queen since laying workers hadn't started up yet.
Hive checks (2/16/2015)
Quick peak at entrance activity and saw a few foragers coming back with pollen. Can't say much more without looking inside, but based on my previous observations they have a long road ahead to rebuild their numbers.
Hive checks (2/21/2015)
The queen looked good and the broodnest was larger. I moved several frames of honey from the back of the hive forward because the front frames were empty and they looked like they needed more food close by.
Back to the bees,