Spring is definitely popping. It seems like everything is suddenly blooming at once, and my hives are reflecting the good conditions. The hive on the left had freshly added wax visible on the tops of the combs, a sure sign that nectar flows are abundant. The colony on the upper right is showing a textbook arrangement of brood, pollen, and nectar.
Friday’s big excitement was finding the first queen cells of the season. I’m on the fence as to whether these were true swarm cells, or just the bees’ attempt to upgrade a so-so queen as early in the season as possible. The colony was by no means over-populated, nor did it have the robust contingent of drones that usually accompany swarm preparations. Just to be on the safe side, I took a frame with three queen cells, two frames with capped brood, two frames of nectar/honey and pollen, and a shake or two of nurse bees and tucked them all into a nuc. Night-time temperatures are not predicted to go below 40°, so I feel pretty confident that they will be able to keep themselves warm enough. I also left a few queen cells in the original (and still queenright) colony, in case supercedure was indeed their goal. Hopefully we will have another beautiful day like today when those virgin queens need to make their mating flights!
I saw several drones on a water dish today.