I scanned through the dead bees to see if I could find the queen and I did not see her. I plan on going through all the frames from each box and decide if I will melt down the wax or keep them for later use. Hopefully I will find what was left of the winter cluster somewhere in there.
The second task I needed to complete was the remove the extra sugar I had placed in White Hive as emergency winter feed. I'm not sure they really ate much of it. Anyway, I removed it and put some empty frames back in. Now onto the inspection!
Typically the bees will start in the bottom boxes during the beginning of winter and gradually move up through the hive over the course of the winter, eating honey as they go. So, come the spring, you expect to find them at the top of your hive and that is where they were. I pulled the first frame and BAM, there was the queen! I'd like to think my queen spotting abilities have improved but this time was way too easy. She just visually jumped right out to me. I could see that she was doing her job as the frame was fairly well covered in sealed brood, eggs and larvae. The workers have also packed quite a lot of pollen along the top of this frame as well.
|Larvae with pollen|
|Nosema or bee dysentery?|
All in all I guess you take the good (they survived the winter) and you take the bad (maybe have Nosema), you take 'em both and there you have the facts of life. Sorry. Really bad but I couldn't resist!
Until next time, thanks for reading.