After snow blanketing us on Monday April 18, 2022 we achieved sunny, summery weather last weekend and opened up our remaining hive, Dorcas, for general evaluation and a mite check.

Starting at the brood end we went past a comb of food and a comb of drone brood to a comb of worker brood. The next comb had even more worker brood. With indications that a queen was laying we went no deeper.

But we did perform a sugar roll check for varroa mites, which yielded a mere one mite per hundred bees. We usually regard that as below treatment threshold but it is so early in the season that we shall likely treat to knock the mites back anyway.

Restoring the brood end, we started looking from the other and found that the four frames of sugar candy were somewhat smaller and more polished. They may not have been needed but received some interest.

Unlike previous seasons we found that end of the hive dry. Usually we would find it somewhat damp and moldy in spite of whatever hygroscopic material we packed. We credit the sugar candy frames with collecting the moisture more effectively.

Most of the honey combs were only partially full so backfilling the brood nest ought not be imminent. Also only a few drones were seen and we still await the dandelions. So swarming is unlikely to be soon.

We have seen bees investigating our other hive, Clarissa, which sits empty but ready. It would be most convenient if a swarm from Dorcas just moved straight in but we should not expect that.

Not a bad start to the season.