The weather finally warmed up just enough so that I could open the hives for a quick peek. Both hives have snarfed down most of the candy board though there is a little left around the edges. I’ve removed quilt boxes from both hives.
Both colonies have drawn comb where the candy board was. There looks to be a lot of brood in both hives, although I didn’t pull individual frames because it was cool enough that I didn’t want the hive open long enough for that–didn’t want to risk chilling brood but I did rotate the supers enough for me to see into the second and into the brood box. Lots of bees all through the hive.
Now I’m feeling really pressured to be able to do a full inspection. Meanwhile, I’m setting up another hive to be ready to do a split if swarming seems imminent.
Warm enough today to I could open the hive and remove the strips I’d placed for Varroa mite treatment. There was a lot of activity at the front of the hive.
I didn’t do a full frame-by-frame inspection but removed all the boxes to get at the mite strips and remove the wooden entrance reducer and place a metal mouse guard for the winter.
Seems that the girls have been noshing on the candyboard already–in retrospect I probably should have waited until December to put it on, and just continued with the syrup feedings until then. But hindsight is always better than foresight.
When I lifted the two upper boxes they were heavy–so they must be full of honey. Just looking down between the frames it looked as if there was a good supply of capped honey. The bees weren’t clustered–they were busy throughout all the boxes.
The bottom box was lighter–probably because some honey has been used from there already since there’s not much for them to forage on at this time of the year even though I’m seeing a little pollen being toted into the hive.
I didn’t try to find the queen this time–with all the activity and loads of bees I assume she is in there doing her thing–and it’s too late in the season to really do anything if not. Keeping fingers crossed.
I’ll take a peek later when there’s a warmer day just to see how much of the candyboard has been devoured, and add sugar if necessary.