A Bee-utiful Season

It’s starting to look like a bee-utiful season! Unfortunately, the outlook doesn’t seem so good for the Whiting Forest bees as neither of our sister hives showed any activity in early spring. One was still alive, but with a cluster less than the size of a softball I wasn’t very optimistic. I wasn’t very diligent this winter with feeding the bees with the added complication of Whiting Forest being a construction zone, the bees were left to live on their honey stores alone.

We set out this week to clean the hives and prepare the equipment for installing nucs we ordered to arrive next week. To my surprise, the small surviving hive is working hard! After inspection, we found a laying queen with frame after frame of fresh eggs. She also has 2 frames of capped brood and a fleet of working bees bringing back pollen baskets full in every shade from white through orange!

I made the decision to knock it down to a single story and give them some sugar solution to help them get going. It was a good time to treat the bees for American Foul Brood, a bacterial disease that is important to preventatively treat. We also added a couple of mite strips to kill any varroa mites that are plaguing our colony! This spring time, before the honey supers are on, is the appropriate time to apply treatments.