Inspection Report - 3/10/18
I was there around noon and visited both hives. Since it wasn’t too warm I didn’t go deep into the hives, but just removed the tops and did a visual inspection, added some food and pollen substitute and closed them up. Overall, they seem to be coming out of winter in fair shape. The population isn’t as big as I’d like to see, but hopefully with the feeding the queen will be kick started into laying eggs.
HIVE #1 (West Facing)
This was the strongest colony going into the winter. The population has definitely reduced over the long winter, but they seem to be hanging in there! I would estimate there are about 8,000 bees in the hive, at summer peak they were around 80,000. I gave them some fondant (yes, like from a cake) and some pollen substitute.
The idea is that the increased food and pollen will trick the queen into thinking that spring is full on in effect. This should get her laying and building populations.
There is no signs of disease or infections. There is not much to be concerned with in this colony.
HIVE #2 (North Facing)
This was the smaller colony going into winter. Like HIVE #1, they have abut 8,000 bees and seem to be weathering the winter fairly well. They were angry and came after me, which I take as a good sign, for real! This colony also received some fondant and pollen to help them out.
This colony also showed no sign of disease or infections. On the next visit I will bring some sugar water to really get them going.
I would have liked to seen both populations a little more active and bigger, but they seem to be in good shape for spring and I’m hopeful they will start building numbers. It’s also time to give them a treatment for varroa mites so I will do that on the next visit.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to seeing how the honey jars and labels turned out!!