The bees huddle together in a cluster and exercise their wing muscles, without moving their wings. This generates a lot of heat so the center of the cluster it is at a warm, 92 degrees! In the center of the cluster is some brood and her majesty, the queen!
On the rare warm days in winter, the bees will take a cleansing flight Which is a quick trip outside the hive to do their duty. It is a good day for a beekeeper to check which colonies are surviving well in the winter, even though checking on them means coming back home With a lot of brown spots on our jacket!
The queen will increase her egg laying as the days continue to get longer. At this point, no drones in of the colonies.
January is the time to order new bees for the 2020 season. These are to replace any colonies that do not survive the winter months. Since we leave our bees in Minnesota all winter, opening the hive is not an option. Our new bees are from Texas. Currently they are in California getting ready to pollinate the almond crops.