I had prepared to go up and feed them pollen/protein patties to jump start their spring brood-rearing. Some folks said brood rearing should ideally start 36 days before first sustained major nectar/honey flow, given our short northerly season. (After 17 days gestation, then 19 days inside housework duty, new girls are ready to leave the hive to join the foraging army). Therefore we want to start "family planning" 36 days before, so the full-force women's army will be ready to forage for honey ingredients 36 on "opening day" of spring pollen.)
Well, as a newbee, I blew it. When I got to the hive the mature over-wintered ladies had already mobilized a massive airlift of pollen and were going strong. Certainly no jump start needed, as you can see in the pics and video.
See the white pantaloons on the returning bees. Since it is whiter than the orange honey/nectar pollen of last summer/fall, I presume this is elm tree pollen. Guess I need to tag one of these ladies to see where she goes. Or check the forest for white buds.