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Spring is here already?

Saturday February 4th was a beautiful day to crack open the hives and see what is going on with each of the colonies. With the temperature hovering around  a balmy 10 Celcius (50 F) the hives were looking as busy as a good summer day. I could not believe the bees were bringing in pollen, not just a little, but quite a bit. With all the pollen collection it is a good assumption that brood is on the way. [caption id="attachment_632" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Pollen Sacs"]Pollen Sacs[/caption] The hive entrances here busy with the foragers bringing in the pollen, undertakers bringing out the dead and bees dashing out for a long awaited bathroom break. [caption id="attachment_626" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="entrance congestion"]Feb 4 2012[/caption] Now it was time to crack the top and see what was going on inside.  Hive #2 was the one that was worrying me due to the large amount of dead bees outside the entrance.  Things seem to look good from the top. Bees were feasting on what was left of the dry sugar placed there about 2 weeks ago. The overall bee population looked good in between the frames and there was still honey visible on some of them. [caption id="attachment_628" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Bee's and Sugar"]Bee's and Sugar[/caption] Hive # 1  was next and to my surprise there was alot of bees hanging from the canvas of the quilt box.  Not sure why there was so many bees bearding but I hope all is OK. There were many bees between the frames and I could see some capped honey on some of them. The dry sugar was completely gone so I probably will do another Mountain Camp feeding later this week if the weather cooperates. [caption id="attachment_630" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Bee's under quilt box"]Bee's under quilt box[/caption] [caption id="attachment_629" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Bee's under quilt box"]Bee's under quilt box[/caption] I put pollen patties and some grease patties in both hives . The pollen patties provide protein to aid in development of brood and the grease patties are meant to aid in pest management. The bees eat the sugar in the patty and the vegetable  oil is transferred on to the bee making it hard for the Varroa mites to gain a hold on the bee.  Here is what the Honeybee Suite says about it. [caption id="attachment_633" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Pollen and Grease Patties"]Pollen and Grease Patties[/caption] So my fears of all the bees being dead are now quelled.  Now my fear is the weather gets cold again and the bees aren't prepared. For today though it makes me feel good that the bees are alive. [caption id="attachment_631" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Happy Bee"]Happy Bee[/caption]
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