The new beekeeping year is springing into action! After the interminable 2013-14 winter, mother nature was much kinder going into 2015. There were a couple of weeks of serious weather from time to time, but nothing like the scourges of last winter. There were flying days every month of the winter, and we had a stretch of beautiful March weather that let the bees get out with regularity for several days. Some folks in the area reported seeing some significant pollen, but I have not witnessed much action outside the hive beyond simple flight so far.
Altogether, only 7% of my hives died this winter. That is the best survival I’ve ever gotten to report. The warm weather has a fair amount of brood started in the strong hives–and most of the hives are indeed strong. Here’s a video from one of the locations where none of them died. It’s in the Solon area.
I’m really hoping April queens arrive in good time. With hives this populous, I need to be splitting by mid-April or be prepared to see a lot of bees hanging in the trees by May. Then again, I’d just resort to raising cells if mated queens aren’t available. There are always options I guess. Good luck as the new season unfolds!