Beekeeping Journal

Did a full hive inspection of both hives. Both are looking great as the bees have drawn out comb in the top super and have loaded up the bottom supers. Added a bruised, fresh rhubarb leaf between supers in each hive to help control varroa mites.

Both hives looking great. While originally C seemed the strongest, A is better developed and has noticeably more traffic coming and going. But both doing well. Added second super to each.

Leading up to this inspection, I seriously feared that Hive C was almost dead. I didn't see a lot of activity and I thought I saw LOTS of dead bees when peering in through the opening. In fact, it turns out this hive is VERY healthy. What I was seeing was good burr comb built from the bottom of the frames. That comb was covered in bees that were basically motionless as the temps where cold and they were busy doing whatever bees do. Such a relief. This is my fourth year as a beek - you'd think I would have known better and saved myself some sleepless nights.

Two packages from Stedman's bees in Silverdale. 

New foundation so letting them air out until my packages arrive in April.

It's still early but I have one set up now and another will be by this weekend.

Added foam panels insulation around beehive, keeping Vivaldi board ventilation open at the top. Have been noticing very little activity at the hive, which has been a bit concerning. Nights are getting cold and the hive is in shade most of the day now ... did see about ten bees flying about the opening yesterday during a short sunny period.

Getting ready for winter... Tipped the hive forward a bit too ahead of the rainy season. All I need to do is prepare fondant and put some burlap sacks in the Vibaldi board. Honey super is heavy but not as heavy as I had hoped....

Placed a Vivaldi board on the hive, between it and my custom cover. Did not add any fondant yet. I'll do that when I remove the apivar strips in a couple of weeks.

Placed a pollen patty inside the hive over the honey deep. Also placed a ventilation shim with a one-inch, screened hole in the same location. Hive appears to be strong and doing well.

Pulled the honey - not a whole lot in the top super, five partially full frames. But it will give me a taste... :) They have a full deep super of honey for winter, so I didn't cut into their stash. Also treated for mites with two strips of Apivar in the brood chamber.

Temperature was 72 degrees, skies were overcast. Bees were very calm. Until I started shaking them off their honey frames ... all hell broke loose, haha.