It seems the start of the beekeeping year gets earlier and earlier! The next couple of days here in St Louis are going to be a lot warmer than normal, so it's a great opportunity to go and take a look at the hives and check on signs of life!
I just got back from visiting my city hive . I wasn't sure whether this colony would survive as it was light on food going into the winter. I tried to feed it up in the Autumn but I wasn't sure if the bees has put enough stores away to get them through. If truth be told, I wasn't sure I wanted them to get though either, but that's another story!
So today I took advantage of near 60F weather to take a peek. Lots of bees flying in front of the hive. Although I didn't see any pollen or forage going in it was good to see them so active, most probably cleansing and cleaning. I was quite surprised to see the activity. Anyway, I quickly popped the cover to check inside and I could clearly discern a cluster in the middle of the hive. It was a bit spread out but I put that down to the warm weather. The hive still seemed pretty heavy, but I still took the opportunity to add a pollen patty under the inner cover - that can't do any harm!
I mustn't get complacent. There's still a long way to go before we can really say winter is over, so I can't be 100% sure this hive will make it, but the early indication is that it will and hopefully do well this summer.
My plans? To move the hive back to Kirkwood before the spring. However, I first need to build a hive stand in a friend's garden, then I'll wait for a cold day and move the hive. That won't be too difficult! Reckon I'll be doing this in February!