During a couple days of warmth, in the forties. The bees came out in numbers. I was thrilled to see that both hives were alive. They sounded like both queens had made it too. How I hope so for I've not ordered any new ones.
I watered them by filling a dish just outside their hives, wished them well, and told them I'd come inside and visit when the temperatures reached the fifties. Any lower and you can chill them too much and kill off your bees. I've got to check soon to make sure they have enough food to make it until the blossoms start. That's not for months yet. They should be okay as a cold winter equate to less food demand. They aren't as active and hence don't get around to eating much. That means warm winters are hard on honey stores.
Oh, they won't like my visit at all, and they are sure to think I'm there to rob them but I'll just take a quick peek into the top two boxes , then leave them alone if they've plenty of food. That is unless it warms up a bunch and they start robbing the pantry often. Spring is the time you loose lots of hives to starvation if you aren't careful.
If a hive is dead, you can suspect starvation if cell after cell has a dead bee with his head stuck inside. There often is still a LITTLE bit of honey inside. Don't ask me why they die before the very last drop is gone. I don't know. And frankly you should be proud of me because I'm going to go and make a cake and not spend an hour trying to find the answer on the Internet. LOL