Daytime temperatures for the last week have been good, enabling many beekeepers the opportunity of taking a look in their hives.  Just a reminder though that the nights are still cold, and the forecast is for a drop in daytime temperature.  So despite the fact that your bees may be bringing in plenty of pollen and nectar during the day, winter dangers are not yet over. Unless you live close to one of the major equipment suppliers the Spring Convention in 10 days time will be the last opportunity to pick up any supers, foundation, or anything else without having to order them online.   Despite having hive tools some new ones are definitely going on my list as I seem to have lost two already this year in the grass!!

Most important - if the weather permits, be prepared to put in some clean drawn comb to replace dirty empty brood comb that the queen doesn’t want to lay in.  If you used follower/dummy boards last autumn to reduce the space, and the number of bees is now sufficient, you may also want to replace these.  Slow build up could be due to lack of space for the queen to lay.

One of my best colonies is on a brood and a half - the queen has moved up to the super to lay in nice clean comb, mostly abandoning the brood box below.  In due course the original brood box and all the dirty comb will be removed, the super placed on a clean hive floor and a nice clean brood box with foundation/drawn comb placed on top.  If doing this you obviously won’t be able to use the super frames for honey in future.

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