The weather was pleasant yesterday (50 degrees F and sunny) and honeybees in the Bee Glad... hive were out bringing pollen. It was a fine day to do some work in Beelandia.
I finally was able to prepare both top bar hives for bee installation later this month. I took all the insulation off, leveled the hives, and removed all the old comb (three years old or older) from the hive. As I suspected, the bees in these two hives had not collected very much nectar last summer and fall and had probably died of starvation.
After top bar tasks, I went on to work with Bee Glad..., the one hive to survive this winter. I remove the quilt box, hive wrap, and other insulation. I made a very brief inspection (I did not remove any frames). The cluster is at the very top of hive with very little honey left. I reversed the top two boxes, left some pollen patties, and put on a top feeder with syrup added.
I did make one discovery doing all this: I am stronger this spring than I have been in the last three. My previous weakness, which I had attributed to age, was probably due to my unrepaired surgical hernias. My December hernia surgery was a success!