Strong colony of Bees
With it mild this afternoon, I had quick look at all my hives to check for fondant levels. I cannot believe how strong they all are. A couple of hives which I had some concerns about are now very strong. I had concerns when I first put fondant on these hives at Christmas and saw very few bees. In both hives, the winter cluster must have been very tight and low down in the brood box. Now the bees are all over the tops of the frames and nicely central in the brood box. I will keep an eye on these two colonies, as if they stay this strong they may well need a super put on, so the hive is 1 1/2 brood boxes.
The other hives which are all on 1 1/2 brood boxes, still look a mess with the burr comb on the tops of the frames. As I blogged in October, a lot of burr comb was built on the frame top bars whilst I treated the hives for varroa mite. With an eke in place the gap was filled by the bees with comb. It looked messy but was filled with capped honey, so I was loathed to clean up and remove what could be winter stores for them. As you can see the bees are now all over this burr comb and seem to have nearly cleaned out the stored honey. Whether they are eating it or taking it down to store in the brood box, at the moment I don’t know. In a month’s time, with this burr comb empty of honey I will clean it up by scraping it off the tops of the frames.
Whilst doing this quick inspection, the odd bee was coming into the hive with pollen. Though the light was not good and I hadn’t a flash with me, I tried grabbing a photo or two. I do wish they would keep still and pose !!