Temperatures were in the 50s, clear with little wind.
I checked the hives at Dido's [my grandfather] house first and I tried baling twine as smoke for the first time. It worked well.
The two swarms from last year had good population in both hive bodies and enough weight to indicate plenty of food.
|Hive 1, Italian swarm.|
|Hive 1. Check out the Beetle Blaster and the grease patty for tracheal mites. |
I see bees on 7 frames. IN MARCH. This is going to be a big colony.
|Hive 3. Feral Carnolian/Italian mix. Don't know where they came from.|
Cranky, but productive.
|Hive 3. Fewer bees than the straight Italians, but they'll explode once pollen starts coming in.|
There was less population in the hive with the bought bees from last year, but enough, with plenty of honey.
|Hive 2. Overwintered Italian package. Not as robust as Hives 1 and 3, but hey, they survived!|
I did not check for egg laying so as not to disturb them too much.
At our house I needed to move the hive to a new base because it was quite crooked. They did not appreciate my efforts. There was good population and food supply.
|Hive 4. The home hive, overwintered. Requeened last year with Minnesota Hygienic stock.|
<3 Marla Spivak. Needs a bath.
None of the hives had paid much attention to the food patties I put in weeks ago.
|Forage! Or soon to be.|
|Home is where the cornfield is.|