More bee food

We’ve had some terrible weather for a couple weeks, not helped by both Chris and I spending a week off because we were sick.  Today there is a nice break in the rain, the sun actually came out.  I made a fresh batch of patties on the weekend, but, weather hasn’t let me get them into the hives yet.  Today I went and started setting more patties onto the hives. For the most part, I’m very impressed with how the bees look.  In a couple of the colonies, there wasn’t a scrap left from the first round, and in a few more just small bits.  I put two patties onto the smaller ones, and 3 onto the colonies that have devoured the last round. The most impressive thing to me, is the size of those clusters.  There is absolutely NO doubt that these bees have started brooding up, the hive I showed a photo of from the first round of feeding had bees on 4 frames when we started putting on patties.  I forgot to take a photo while it was open, but today, that colony has bees on 8 frames, and there wasn’t a trace of the original patties left on the top bars, not even a scrap. The norm for us over the years has been to put bees to bed for the winter in a double deep configuration, then in the spring we find they have moved into the top box, and cover about 4 frames in the top box by the time spring rolls around.  I typically see them expand slowly, and expect to see them moving back into the bottom box by the first week of April.  At this rate, some of these colonies will be moving into the bottom box by early March this year.  I can see that we are going to have to put a lot of effort into swarm management if this keeps up, because we will have swarmy bees by April.  This is not a bad thing, but, it does mean we will have to re-think some of the plans.