I believe our bees have endured the worst part of this assault by Jack Frost!! If it gets 40* today I wouldn't wait any longer to hive my bees! I will be hiving another colony today which is the last one until I bring up the last shipment of bees on 4/24/13 around 5PM.
REMEMBER: DO NOT SPRAY YOUR BEES BEFORE HIVING THIS SEASON AS IT IS TOO COLD!!!
Keep your bees inside a warm location while you set the hive up, pull out three middle frames and set them aside and fill your room temperature sugar water. Get your bees and hive them. I hived three colonies yesterday afternoon with the Kulp Family and then they headed home and hived two colonies. It went really well except that because of the chill, the bees do not slide out of the box completely. To get close to all of your bees out of the box, take off the little strips of wood which hold the screen onto the edges of the box. This will allow you to give the box one last thump and "wa-la" your bees should slide right out! Another important note: I put my queen in my bee suit pocket to keep her warm while I am dumping the colony into the hive. A single bee will get hypothermic very quickly. I recycle any sugar water that is left in the can by putting larger holes in the can and dumping it into the sugar feeder. Another way to insulate the entrance is to get the little, foam tubes that are used to insulate around windows and stuff those in place of the entrance reducer, leaving a small space for the bees to use as an entrance/exit. I heard from Fred Tuttle out at Harding Lake and he hived his bees Sun. night after the delivery. He reports they are doing "Great and I can hear a hummmmmm when I put my ear up to the hive." Thanks, Fred for the updates and KEEP YOUR SUGAR WATER FLOWING!! I will be feeding my bees every 4 days and waiting to do any hive checks until the weekend when it is 50* or warmer. :)