Today is grey, drippy, damp, at the very least; otherwise it been pouring rain every time I’ve had to go out to run an errand. On my trip to the hive today I saw a couple of the girls peeking out as if to check on the world without actually going out. I think it was the bee version of “yuck”.
Yesterday was sunny and warm so there bees flying and bringing in a bit of pollen. I was at least able to lift the cover and get a glimpse of the inside of the hive. The first thing I noticed was that the girls have carefully applied propolis all around the edges of the quilt box so that it is difficult to lift the shavings and burlap to see down into the hive. The cedar shavings were wet on the top, but dry down next to the burlap despite all the rain and humidity. That was good to see (and feel).
I was finally able to tug one corner of the burlap loose to peer down to the top bars of the upper box. That immediately left me standing there with my mouth hanging open. The candyboard appears to be completely gone. Though I did not lift the quilt box off, I couldn’t see any candy left anywhere. There were bees on the top bars moving about and doing whatever it is that they do this time of year in this crazy weather, but certainly not clustered.
Looking back on my hive notes, I see that I put the candyboard on the hive on 11 November 2015. As you can see, there was a lot of it eaten by the 13th of December. (I can tell that I’m going to want next year’s candyboard to have some support in it, because I couldn’t lift this off the upper box to really look into it on that last inspection–not even a year yet and I’m developing some definite preferences for equipment.)
Looking at the seven-day forecast, it might be warm enough tomorrow, if it’s not raining or too windy to get a better look into the hive. If not tomorrow, it’s likely to be a week (at least) before I can do an inspection.
Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I’m just being a worrywart, novice beekeeper, but you can see that this pollen basket is not exactly stuffed–this was taken 04 January 2016–not exactly when you’d expect bees to be bringing in lots of pollen.