I have been anxiously awaiting Spring to see how our honey bees tolerated the long, cold winter. I am happy to say that upon initial inspection, there is good activity at all 5 hives. I have begun to feed them sugar water until nectar starts flowing....a few more weeks. Once it is warmer in the afternoons, I will open up each hive and make formal inspections, checking the strength of the queen and the number of brood. At this point, if any of the hives are weak, I will order new queens. Installing new queens should help to build up any weak hives. For now, my fingers remain crossed. These hives are located at the edge of the woods across the drive from the orchard.In the next couple of weeks, we will move them across the orchard to their new bear-proof hive yard....Then in May, I will be picking up 5 more colonies and installing them in our new English garden hives. These hives will be located in a small round pasture that lies beside our main driveway. An electric wire around that pasture should act as a bear deterrent.
I spent a great deal of time this weekend painting these new hives white.