15 March 2017
Today, we got donned our suits for the first time this year and even though the temperature was just 10°C, we opened up all the hives to check if they had enough food and were alive. For the D and E wooden hives, it was also the first time we could clear the bees that died during the winter when the colony naturally decreases in size from 80 000 to about 20 000.
We were delighted to see all seven colonies showed signs of life. The five in the front garden were all basking in the sun and looked really healthy. The nuc at the back needs to be shifted to a normal LN box and could do with some extra food. The nuc has lots of bees gathered at the bottom and the small openings are smeared with poo, so we’re not 100% it will survive but we’ll give it a try. The F hive looked short on food too, so put a feeder tray on today with 2 kgs of sugar water to boost their supplies and gave them a frame with honey from one of the hives in the front.
All in all, a great relief to find life in all hives. All we need to do now is to make sure they survive on their honey supplies until there is pollen and nectar to gather. The only thing flowering right now is the yellow winter aconite.