On warm days the bees fly out to gather water and pollen. They also drag out dead bees and debris and take "cleansing flights" to poop!
They have been busy gathering pollen most of the winter here in Middle Tennessee. As early as late January and surely by February, they are gathering Elm, Maple and Red Cedar pollen. What do they do with all this pollen? It's protein that they feed to the larva before they are capped over with wax to undergo their metamorphosis into an adult honeybee.The bee in the picture is gathering red pollen form the humble little henbit plant, which also flowers in the late winter. Check out the pollen on her head and on the pollen sacks on her back legs! This time of year, the queen is very busy laying eggs and building up the population in the hive for when the spring nectar flow starts.