Taking Advantage of a Sunny Day

I’ve been terribly worried about the hive.  I had no idea if they have sufficient winter stores to make it (I got the hive quite late).  Our weather has been horrible this year (lots of snow and record cold temperatures).  And after reading this AM that Beekeeper Linda had lost a hive, I was quite anxious.  I had planned to do a quick check and feed them this morning (honestly, I was just hoping to find some of them alive), and was pleasantly surprised to go outside and see them buzzing around the hive.    First, I snapped a quick picture of one bee coming in with some pollen.  I have no clue where they would be picking it up, but we saw many more in the short time we were out there.

Then we opened the top and found dead bees floating in the sugar syrup that I assumed was long gone.

Regardless of the dead bees, I was practically jumping up and down after this picture because it was clear there was a large amount of activity below.  You could hear the bees buzzing contently.  I’ve missed that noise so much over the past three months.  Removing the feeder, we found a thick cluster of bees hanging out on some of the older frames.

The frames look like quite a mess, but I was so happy to see the activity, it didn’t really matter.  For my own personal curiousity, we pulled out two of the end frames to see if they had any stores left and I was fascinated to find two beautiful, full frames!  I think this is first time I’ve held a truly full frame of honey and I was surprised by how heavy such a small thing can be.

So, we put everything back together quickly.  The whole process (pictures included) took about 15 minutes.  I didn’t want to upset them or leave them too exposed.  It’s clear they are doing well and I’m glad.  I ended up not feeding them.  I was planning on trying a sugar/water set up that I read about this morning on Mark’s Bee Haven, but based on what we found we just removed the top feeder and closed up the hive.

I hope we have more warm weather again soon.  It’s so wonderful to see the bees active again.