After the snow I went to check on my bees last week. It was a warm-ish day and the bees were busy spring-cleaning their hives – actually I have no idea what they were doing as I am a bad, inattentive beekeeper who should read more. I wasn’t going to do a hive check – too cold and early for that. I just wanted to make sure the bees had sufficient stores and top up with a little emergency fondant if they didn’t – from the little reading I have done it seems March can be a crucial month – the queen is laying, the brood is growing but there might not be adequate food sources about.
Most hives were fine, with adequate stores (most I had left with a super of heather honey + what they had in their brood box back in the autumn and/or supplementary fondant), but in a couple of hives where they had eaten all the fondant I added a little more, just to be on the safe side.
The swarm I took on last summer and which over-winter had lived a precarious existence in two old supers and a brood box below that they didn’t really want to go in, was thriving. When I took of the lid loads of bees came out. I am hopeful that maybe this spring I can sort this hive out and return the two supers they came in back to Amanda.
One hive had no bees outside it. This was my number one hive. I wasn’t sure why there were no bees. It had lots of stores and a strong colony before winter. I feared the worst and opened it up. Plenty of stores still there ….. then I saw there were still bees down in the brood box so I quickly shut it up and hoped I hadn’t disturbed them too much.
So, fingers crossed, 6 out of 6 hives survived the winter. Let’s hope they grow strong into the spring.
N.B. I must remember to put in a queen excluder between the brood and super boxes before it gets too late this year.