First look at the hives after the winter.
Well the weather was perfect. 15 degrees ,sunny and calm. I was a bit early to give the first inspection of the year( 29th Feb) but I couldnt resist it.
It took me a little while to get my smoker going as the grass I had only the grass I cut last year to use but with the help of my trusty blowtorch I had the smoker puffing away well.
I wanted to take a good look at each fame in each hive, to check for signs of disease but also to acertain the amount of brood and eggs in each hive.
Overall I was very happy. No chalk brood or signs of foul brood and I saw many of the queens principally because the amount of brood and eggs was so small that the queens were more than likely to be on the one frame that they have been laying in to.This seemed the case for all my hives.
The reason for the small amount of brood and was probably because the autumn carried on later this year and the queens didn' really stop laying until the recent cold spell we had 3 weeks ago. So with this recent warmer weather they have started re laying but cautiously, incase the sudden increase in pollen stops!
I fed all my 10 frame hives with half a litre of sugar syrup to help stimulate the queens in to increasing egg laying. I also treated with amitraze which treats against varolla mite.
I will be quickly opening the hives twice more to give a second and third treatment over the next two weeks and also feeding at the same time. However I will not be pulling the hive apart each time. I know their is brood and eggs in each hive so I will leave them well alone an keep the intervention minimal.
Let's hope the weather dosent turn cold again!
Roll on spring.