We have some full of bees 9 in the bottom and 9 in the top. In fact (believe it or not) a double deep with a medium all full of bees had started a queen cell. Moved the frame and shook some bees in to a weak one full of drones due to no queen. Dwindling hive. We will see what happens. Frames are filling with maple nectar?
Could this early development be another complication of global warming? I haven't intruded into my hives while the winter weather is still with us (so i don;t know if drone brood is present), but over the last several years I've observed a very distinct advance in the appearance of the spring's first swarms.
global warming... don't say that! I guess I just said it again
I think a part of what is happening here is we have had an extremely mild winter which was proceed by a very dry prior year where nothing much bloomed. we then got fall and winter rains + the milder temperatures and those two things seems to have gotten lots of stuff blooming early.
I am in Eastern N.C. and checked my hives (wintered with two deeps per hive) this past weekend. They were loaded with bee's almost to the point of what appeared as over crowding and bringing in lots of Maple nectar, nothing like a swamp bottom. I did notice that they were back filling what they had depleted from their Winter stores.
My question is with this mild of a Winter, no forecast of cold temps and all of the current hive activity when should I start placing supers and giving them more space? Last year it was the first part of March but we actually had a Winter.
If you have sealed frames in the hive and available built frames, at this early stage of the season, when you can still expect a good spate of cold weather, rather than add a whole new super (and increase the area that the bees have to warm) I would suggest exchanging full frames for empties---one or two at a time.
This suggestion is only practical if you have a small number of hives and can give them individual TLC.
Keep in mind that "drying" the nectar cools the hive and you don't want to risk chilling them when they should be keeping warm and cozy to encourage even more brood rearing.
Sounds like you're going to have a bumper season if you get a start with such strong hives.
efmesch "Sounds like you're going to have a bumper season if you get a start with such strong hives."
They are looking real good at the moment, I may try your method on the ones I keep at the house. I can monitor those much closer.
Iddee, Are you seeing alot of the same in your area?
I checked all 5 of my hives for the first time today. They all are laying, with capped and open brood, a few drone cells capped. All have good stores of honey and pollen, and all have open cells of nectar or sugar water. Of course, I have fed a gallon a day of 1:1 or the last 5 days.
BUT, all have much empty comb, so there is plenty of space for expansion.