Thanks to Sarah B. for helping out with the inspections this week. We had a busy day as we finally had good enough weather to allow for a full inspection. We collected data for the VA Tech Varroa study, checked for Varroa in our other hive, did a frame-by-frame inspection, and some checkerboarding in the supers. The bees continue to do well.
The spring honey flow is on. We observed redbud, autumn olive, dogwood, and many of the oaks starting to bloom. This is in addition to the dandelion, maple, and bluebell that have been in bloom for some time on the property.
Hive 1 continues to lag behind Hive 2. The girls have drawn out and filled all but two frames in the brood boxes, but have added little above the queen excluder. The brood pattern and diversity remain good; the queen was observed; and there were no signs of pests of disease, so the presumption is that these girls are just not working that hard. We will watch them carefully now that more sustained warm weather is in the forecast and may pull some resources from Hive 2 to balance them out in a few weeks if things do not improve.
Hive 2 is performing well. The girls have filled 5 frames in the lower honey super and are half way done capping these frames. They have nectar filling most of 3 more frames in the lower honey super. In the super added last week, they have filled the three frames of drawn comb we gave them with nectar and are drawing out frames with foundation only on either side. The brood pattern looks excellent.
Sampling for Varroa revealed that our mite counts remain below detectable levels. We looked for and found no evidence of brood disease.