It’s after the middle of April and the host hive bees seem to be going strong! I have been told by many beekeepers that we can’t be sure that the bees have made it through the winter until May. I am optimistic though. The colony seems to be growing well and they are very active. The next step that I need to take is to add more empty bars in the hive.
On April 18th I went over to the hive to check in on them and add three empty bars. Before I could get into the hive, the hay bales had to be moved. After that I spent some time watching the bees at their entrance. The entrance reducer had fallen out of the entrance hole, so I picked it up and decided that they didn’t need it. The bees were very active and bringing in lots of pollen.
The bees had also been using a small gap at the top of the divider board as another entrance. They were going in and out freely from the side of the hive with the observation window. I don’t really want the bees using that side of the hive as their door. Having them there makes using the observation window almost impossible. I am going to have to figure out how to make the divider board fit more securely into the hive.
Once the hive was opened, the first thing that I did was to remove the feeder with honey and the candy block. The bees had not touched the honey, but they did eat a little of the candy block. I was happy to know that the bees had plenty of honey to get them through the winter.
Then I opened the hive to check in on the bees. The colony is growing and there is still honey left for them to eat. The colony had 16 bars and I added 3 more for them to continue to grow. The first thing that I tried to do was to scrape the propolis off of the window and the divider board to try to make the divider board fit better into the hive. I got it down at little bit, but I don’t think that it is enough. I will have to work on it again during the next inspection.
The last bar that I was inspecting, the comb broke off. I seem to be doing that a lot lately! Rachel got a plastic bag and we got the bees off of the comb and put it into the bag. The comb did not have any brood, it had some honey in it. I gave the comb to Rachel for her family to enjoy.
When I looked around the outside of the hive I noticed something that looked like dysentery. There were no signs of it inside the hive. I will do some more research into it and keep an eye on things. I hope that it isn’t anything serious. Other than that the colony looks good. They are expanding quickly and very active. I will check them again soon to see if I need to add more bars for them.