Tuesday, March 8th. Today is International Women's day. The day began with a light frost but it soon gave way to the warm spring sun. By the afternoon there were hard shadows on my garden wall. Air temperature had climbed to a low double figure. The bees (all female) are out in numbers dancing, enjoying the sun.
I took this window of opportunity to do a quick hive inspection. Hive 1 (my older one) looks fine although the population number is on the low side. I saw quite a few dead bees on the floor including a few dead unhatched young bees. This is the hive that had a big population and lost a large number of bees in the winter. I had to remove two big clumps of dead bees from the land board a few months ago. The bees are now busy cleaning and there are sign of pollen.
Deep into mid hive I was pleased to see a few sealed brood cells and sign of young grubs. Although I cannot find the Queen, it has to be somewhere. I noted that there are still a few frames of honey left from last season so my concern for their lacking in food, a few days ago, may be unfounded. Bees from this hive displayed an inquisitive rather that over active concern at my opening up the hive. This is very different in Hive 2 as I discovered later.
The bees number in hive 2 is much greater and they are more agiutated with my inspection. Again no sign if the Queen. At present this, I think, is the stronger colony, which is the reverse to last year. Once again there are signs of seal brood cells and grubs though there were less honey store then Hive 1. I had some difficulties in prising open the frames. My effort in doing so only served to annoy them even more. The bees had done a good job cementing the frames together.
Well I now know where the colonies are at, so I shall wait for the weather to improve further before I open the hive up again.