Colonies are raising their last round of bees before winter. While bee health is always important, there's no time quite so much as now, when the colony needs long lived bees to sustain them until spring. While a typical summer bee who must take on the rigors of foraging lives about 35 days, a winter bee will do the first foraging for pollen in the spring, usually around Highland County Maple Festival time in March.
Here's an example of a new bee, ready for winter. You see her right? She's the one with the thick hair.
And how about this gal - it almost needs braiding.