The weather here has been grim, rain, sleet and snow every day. So many folks were worried about our bees who no more than got into their new digs when a winter storm hit. The girls weathered the week without a problem. We were really grateful today for a few hours of sunshine and 50 degrees so we could take a peek inside each hive and see how the girls were doing.
Mostly we just wanted to spot our Queens. It would have been nice to see eggs or larva but it was too cold to keep the hives open too long, we had to work quickly.
You might remember the only hive we were not 100% confident about the Queen was Katrina's Drone Den. Well, she is there, alive and well. We couldn't appreciate anything other than she is there. Same story in The Turquoise Bee.
We took a little more time with Patrick's Pollinator, mostly because her highness was elusive and it took us awhile to find her. You can watch the inspection of Patrick's Pollinator in the video above, we didn't locate her until the end of the video after going through the frames a second time. I got a little worried after going through the frames once and I started hearing this sort of high pitched hissing, a tone we heard four years ago when a hive went queenless. However as we inspected we did see larva so I felt sure that she was there, even if we couldn't find her. Finally we did spotter her which always makes me feel better. Her white marking seems to be rubbing off a little, this has happened in the past but usually not so early in the season. Nothing we can do about it as we don't mark Queens ourselves.
It was an exceptionally beautiful afternoon, sunny, a crisp 50 degrees in the sun,t he smell of the smoker filling the bee yard. For a fleeting moment I thought it was spring. Another week of rain, sleet and snow begins tomorrow. Today the bees were out and about, I am not sure exactly what they may have been foraging, nothing is in bloom and we didn't see them bringing anything into the hive but they sure were active. We can leave the girls be for a week or two, no reason to bother them other than we simply love working the hives and being in the bee yard.
Our last package should arrive in about two weeks when we will put in Colleen's Royal Ruckus. Since this weather isn't giving up no loss in time there. The fruit trees have not bloomed yet so hopefully all four hives will get on the pollination of the apricot and apple blossoms.