During the long winter months (even here in the South), one wonders about the bees. Are they alive? Will they survive the winter? I've been known to place my ear next to the hive, trying to hear the low, rumbling buzz of thousands of bees inside.
Remember? The shorter one (called a nuc box) was a simple split off of the hive on the far left.
The straps are to keep them more secure on windy winter days. We've occasionally seen a bee or two flying out on warmer days, but today, they were really flying! Temps must have been nudging 60º, which is lovely for them. Many of them were coming back with legs loaded with pollen.