Bees are such clean insects. They won’t relieve themselves inside the hive, not even in winter; they’ll wait until it’s warm enough to fly out and release their pent-up waste outside. This photo was taken today when I went to check on the bees – the first time all winter – and you can see evidence of their ‘cleansing flights’ on the snow. You can also see lots of dead bees, which is typical.
I’m a bit worried about one of the hives, though: I think it’s dead. I could hear activity in the one hive when I put my ear up to the back of it, but the other was silent. Time will tell. It’s still too early to open up the hives and take a real look.