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Sunny Sunday in April

We had a couple of days of rain and overcast skies, but today was a relief from the gloominess. Indeed, this was the day that the apple orchards started to open much more substantially. That means lots of yellow pollen will be coming in for the next couple of weeks, and the weather looks quite favorable too. Here is one of the good ladies at work in a sea of flowers:
With the dandelions and trees both stimulating brood production in several locations, I'm starting to see more frames of brood that are very impressive. We've never seen so much early brood--my splitting percentage is pretty fantastic so far, but I'm not going to announce a number until I'm further along. Lots of bees come out of frames like these:
The downside, of course, is that massive brood production also helps varroa mites reproduce. I'm pretty sure I need to do a spring treatment to keep my hives from crashing this year. I stimulated lots of brood production in the fall, and spring brood-rearing has only compounded the situation. I'm seeing mites in some colonies already, and the hive involved in the picture below has an extremely unnerving number of them in the drone brood. I believe I see traces of sixteen of the reddish-brown devils in this picture. The race continues.

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