Beehive Spring Check- Bee in Harmony

Spring check – Season 6

The weather this winter was rather mild. I did not have to wrap the hives, and the colonies seem to have faired quite well. The way I checked the colonies without opening them is the following:

  1. I untied the strap and removed the feeding bottle. Then, I gently lifted the hive about an inch or two on one side. That gave me an idea about how much stores were left and whether I needed to feed that particular colony more than others. Out of five colonies that I left for the winter, one seem too light and another too heavy.
  2. Then, I removed the bottom trays (I always remove the bottom trays in the spring, once the days are above 62F and the nights are above 40F), to allow for cooling and ventilation. At the same time, it allows me to examine the trays. All but one tray were very dry with very few dead bees, beeswax bits and pollen. The tray that had mold, on the other hand, belong to the colony that was also too light.
  3. Finally, I removed the entrance reducers. I also observed how much attention the bees were paying to me, and whether the colony had filled the top super. The very heavy colony has filled the top super.

So, from my observations, I know that I will most likely than not will have to restart the weak colony by replacing the box, providing new foundation and, also, shaking several frames of nursing bees to boost the colony. Of course, I don’t even know if that colony is queen-right or not, but that will be my next step.

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