The picture shows a healthy frame of bees. I included it to encourage us all that spring will follow winter. Today it is really cold for Seattle. I think it got down to about 20 degrees F last night. It has been cold like this for about a week or 10 days. We start to fidget in Seattle when the cold lasts like this. My washing machine is on an unheated porch in the back of the house. I have an electric blanket on it to (hopefully) keep it from freezing. However, the sun has been shining and that has been nice. When it is raining, as it usually is this time of year, it is a lot darker and gloomier.
The bees are occasionally seen flying out to relieve themselves. There are lots of dead bees covering the front entrances of the hives. If we were going to put mouse guards on the hives, we should have done that about the end of November. I think it is too late now. Last year we scraped about an inch of dead bees off of the floor of the hives (and no mouse nests) when spring came. The hives survived so I am not too worried.
We need to start planning for any expansion that we might make next spring. We will need new hive bodies and new supers if we get any more hives. We also need new yards to keep the bees in since we have the maximum the law allows in our yard now (four). I would love to have bees in three different locations in the Wallingford/Greenlake areas of Seattle. We would maintain the hives and the property owners would get all the free honey that they could eat and the pollination services of the bees.