Structural linguists state that "meaning is in difference." You don't know what a stream is until you know how it differs from a river. To know a cat is gentle, you must also experience a mean one. I think I am finally understanding what healthy bees look like by comparing them to the bees I had last year... you know the ones that died!
I inspected the carniolans today and found them expanding at a much greater rate than last year's bees. In the langstroth hive, 9 out of the 10 frames in the second box, which I put on just last week, are being worked on. In the top bar hive, I had to add two more top bars to an ever expanding brood nest. Yes, there could be other reasons besides having healthier packages this year, but my intuition tells me probably not. There are much, much less bees scampering on the ground around the hives this year and, as of yet, nothing significant to report on the mite front unlike last year.
All was not perfect in today's inspection, however. Besides the sting I took on the finger, I dropped a top bar while working in Plan Bee... I was culling some capped drone brood and the bar just slipped out of my hand, bees and all. I am happy to report it was not much of a mess, and the bees were not too badly riled up.
I gave each hive a sugar dusting!