So I went in, today, opened up the hive, put more of the feeding patties on, as I have plenty of them and the girls were gobbling them up, using them as brood food. There's enough sugar and corn syrup in them for me to know that they're not going to starve. There are a lot of bees in the box, and I'm going to have to watch to make sure that they don't swarm. I didn't take apart all the frames today, simply because it was cloudy and there was a wind blowing, and my snow cover is a pain to take off from over the hive and it's supposed to snow tomorrow.
I know. Colorado weather.
Anyway... I also decided to take out the entrance restriction and let the girls clean out the bottom of the hive, as they have a huge pile of shaved wax built up behind it. And in the process of trying to get that out, I hefted the two brood boxes, and they're heavy. That means that they still have a ton of honey left for themselves! So I'm unlikely to feed them sugar syrup this spring. Just let them take care of themselves. I'll probably put the restriction back in at half length instead of the one-inch entrance before the snow tomorrow, but it was nice to give them a chance to clean things out.
They were very happy, and there are a lot of bees not just in there, but working hard to build up the colony to be ready for spring. I'm going to have to go in, some 60/70 degree day and really assess if there are drone cells and/or queen cells to really know if they're going to swarm, but I wasn't quite up to it today.
One really good thing, though, was that I had a bee venom shot last Monday, and it's two sting's worth of venom, and the area that got shot was only a little warm. No swelling, no massive itching, no long-term pain at all, especially compared to the ankle sting I'd had last summer. So the shots really are working well. I don't exactly want to test it with a live sting, but now I'm far more confident when I work the girls and there's so much less to be afraid of that it's amazing.