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Well, the weather finally got right (meaning a couple nights in a row where it didn’t go below 50 degrees) and we were able to go into the hives for our first look of the 2021 season. What we found was a pleasant surprise. Our older hive (Hive #1 on the left) had plenty of capped honey still left in the top super that we left on the hive to make sure they didn’t starve over the winter. It would appear that the bees used the honey closest to the brood ball to feed on. You can tell that the cells at the bottom edge of the frame shown are not capped. With that hive looking all good, I just added another super (box with frames) on the top and closed it up. The frames are made of plastic and are coated with wax to give the bees a good start.
Our newer hive (Hive #2) on the right, didn’t seem to have made enough honey to keep themselves over the winter. I’m sure they probably did as bees have survived winters for millions of years without human intervention. Just to be sure, we put some sugar on top of the frames to make sure they had something to eat. As you can see, we put just plain bags of sugar on top of the frames, bags and all. The bees will eat through the paper bags to get to the sugar and the rest of the paper that is not eaten helps control moisture in the hive. As the bees had not quite finished the sugar and I knew that another cold snap was coming I decided to leave sugar on and let them continue to eat. The plan is to put frames on around the first of April.