Spring has finally arrived. Several days of warm weather have brought out the dandelions, weeping willows, the first maples and I noticed one strawberry flower in front of the hive. Good amount of activity at the entrance. Bees were bringing back bright orange pollen.
A closer look above the hive entrance showed signs of bee poo. This was here before we took the winter solar wrap off. Bees were venturing between the box and the wrap to do their business. It seems like a small amount and hasn't increased since the last visit so I won't worry too much about it.
A strong buzz of disaproval as we removed the top box, but the colony displayed its typically placid nature for the remainder of the inspection.
The top box contained two combs of capped honey and at least a few frames with some capped brood.
The middle box also had a couple combs of honey, and at least 4-5 combs with plenty of capped brood, eggs, larvae.
There were gaps here and there in the capped brood, which were all full with nectar, pollen or eggs.
We did spot some some odd critters nestled around one top bar. They seem to have moulted out of a stripped 'skin', which doesn't look quite like what we'd expect from wax moth or small hive beetle.
The bottom box didn't seem to have much going on other than small amounts of pollen in the comb I removed.
The bottom board was full of all kinds of the expected things after winter. There were a few more dead bees than shown in the photo, but it seems they must have been able to clear out many bodies themselves through the long narrow entrance reducer I used.
They seem to be building up steadily and should really get going in the next week or two as the small apple orchard on the other side of the field comes into bloom.