Hi! This is Adriana, the beekeeper from South Mountain Bees.
Thursday was a milder day and I was able to check the hive I mentioned it might need a beekeeping intervention a few days ago. This thermal image suggested that these bees might have consumed all their honey and may need some emergency food to avoid imminent starvation.
The bees were all clustered at the top of the hive, where you see the red area. So I knew I had to check their honey stores and emergency food supplies or they might starve in as little as a few days.
February and March are critical for bees in our area, because the queen starts laying eggs, there's more activity in the hive, and they consume more resources during a time when they can fly to forage, and if they do get to fly, there are hardly any flowers to gather any food.
I opened the hive yesterday and I found they had consumed all the honey and all the sugar I had given them in my previous inspection on a mild day in early February.
Originally there was a sheet op newspaper covering the frames where you now see bees, and several pounds of sugar on top of it. You can still see some newspaper pieces left around the edges.
The temperature was in the low 40F's, and I didn't want the bees to get unhappy with the hive open for too long. So I quickly put another sheet of newspaper, a couple pounds of granulated sugar with a couple of teaspoons of pollen substitute, and closed it back again.
I'm sure these girls are much happier now. It's supposed to be in the 60's this weekend, and I'll have a chance to do a more thorough inspection to the whole apiary.