Things are looking good in the apiary and according to our local groundhogs, spring will be early this year. Over the winter I regularly check to make sure snow or dead bees are not blocking any entrances to the hives, and I make sure there are no signs of pests like mice or squirrels damaging the hive insulation. For beekeepers, winter allows time for planning new gardens and bee water stations, painting new woodenware, doing and inventory of glass honey jars and placing orders for stock, including any necessary mite treatments. I often order my pollen patties and varroa mite treatments in December or January so that I am not trying to find stock at the last minute in the spring when retailers are often sold out. I also print off new charts to track and record hive performance in the upcoming season and put them in my Just Bee Cuz Honey Farm record book. Keeping detailed records of each hive’s performance is crucial when trying to manage my colonies and provide them with the resources they need when they need them.