This is the month when colonies can die of starvation. If the bees do not have enough stored honey, they may need supplementary feeding.
This is of particular concern this year because the winter has been unseasonably warm in many areas.
Usually semi-dormant in winter, the bees instead have been buzzing around, burning up calories and eating their way through the honey reserves in their hives that are supposed to last until spring.
Besides consuming more honey due to increased flying — a behavior called “frivolous foraging” — honeybee colonies also eat more as reproduction kicks into high gear earlier than usual. Female worker bees huddle around the queen bee, whose primary job is to lay eggs, and keep her at a comfortable and constant 93 degrees. Male drones prepare to mate.
Make sure your bees have plenty to eat as we move into spring. Don’t assume that a lot of activity around the hive means everything is fine inside.