This is the longest really cold spell we've had in a long time. We were at 5 again this morning, but at least the snow is over and the sun is shining. Walter Bee is located at the top of the slope in my garden and when the sun shines, it warms up pretty rapidly.
I checked the hive a few minutes ago, and although I see some dead bees on the screened bottom board, I again hear that reassuring hum from the inside. I thought about using the boardman feeder on the outside, but don't feel comfortable trying to lure them out at eat. I'll give it another day. We're supposed to be mid-forties and I always see them out taking cleansing flights at that temperature. The boardman did not work on the inside of the hive. TOO COLD! It will be interesting to see if the girls ate the grease patty. I might get a peek tomorrow.
I have some repair work to do when I feel I can open the hive. The inner cover has come apart on one corner and one of the frames in the deep hive body has come apart at the bottom. (I can see it hanging down when I look inside the entrance.) This is the area where I saw the cluster so I know there is a lot of weight. I'll probably go ahead and get a new inner cover since I'll need another in the spring when I split this hive. The frame is going to have to wait. There is no way I would disrupt the cluster in this cold weather. Now would also be a good time to get the components for the new hive and start assembling.
I still don't have my new camera. Maybe UPS is worried about getting down my long, frozen drive. We're not having any trouble with 4-wheel drive. Hopefully it will come today and I can have some new pictures to post.
Chart of bee growth for all castes
8 hours ago