It has been abnormally warm here for about a week now with temps in the mid to high 60s (~18 C)! The bees have been out and about and happy. I found myself with a touch of time to go into the hives just to see what’s going on, so I did.
Both hives have lots of honey stores still. Hive 1 is lighter than Hive 2, but not worrisome. Not yet. We’re probably 4 to 5 weeks out from the first spring flowers still, and I think they’ll be fine. I didn’t see any brood. I did not dig deep at all, so that doesn’t really worry me. And when I say I didn’t dig deep, I mean, I pulled one or two frames from the very top box. That’s it.
Hive 2 is substantial and will need a split this spring I think. Hive 1 is smaller but growing. I’m hoping they pull through as they are my original hive (fourth queen now), and my personal favorite.
I’m still trying to figure out where to put them at the new house. I’m not happy where they are at, but I need to figure out the sprinklers before I move them too far. They are on cement now; dry but too hot come spring. I have debated moving them onto a neighboring property. A guy in my neighborhood has three acres of county land and has wanted bees for a while (he has a small orchard). I’d be okay moving them down there, though I think I’d miss the proximity. I was watching YouTube videos last night on bees, and I remembered how I miss the summer visits. I’m just ready for this to start again.
My dad finally has good survivor stock (so far). He’s been beeking for the three years now and had only had a single survivor. This year, he left all the honey behind and put a small wattage bulb in the bottom behind a screen. He had heard some people do that to provide just a touch of heat to the hives. I was concerned it’d impact their cluster and keep them too active. Well, he has 100% survivor rates up until now, and his bees were very active Saturday as well. I don’t know if I’d try the bulb idea myself, but I haven’t had the same issues with survivors as he has.
Spring… Almost here!