We made our second hive inspection of the year yesterday. The bees are doing even better than last time we checked. Our February inspection was essentially just peaking under the covers to see which hives were alive and which were dead. This time we fully opened the hives, added food, and did our Spring reversal.
Reversing is a common practice for overwintered hives. The bees naturally store most of the honey at the top of their hive and start the winter in the bottom. As the winter progresses, they slowly eat their way up to the top of the hive. Now that they're growing quickly, however, we simply take the empty bottom box and put it on top so the hive can continue moving upward. This makes the hive feel less crowded and lets them expand more quickly. Bees don't like to expand their colony downward.
It was such a beautiful day, the bees were out in full force. They're searching everywhere for the very first flowers of Spring. At least in this northern location, it'll be at least two weeks yet until they start finding much.
Check out the new photo album we posted to Facebook!
Bees communicate through a complex system of pheromones and dances. Dances vary in speed and style and can let one bee communicate the exact location of a nectar source several miles away. This blog is our way to communicate with you about the latest things going on at Golden Hills.