i notice this time last year

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Cuckmere couple 

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i was already splitting colonies after a bumper March, particularly in my woodland apiary (last year was second year in this apiray)...i suspect this will be a pattern giving early willow, blackthorn etc all to hand...garden colonies were 2-3 weeks behind last year as well as so far this year.

looks like two more weeks of coldish weather ahead :(
 

Erichalfbee 

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last year was an exceptional March and April; supers on 7th April, two Demarees started a week later. The dandelion nectar piled in and I had a decent spring crop. Then the weather closed in and all the rest of the bees’ forage was largely rained off. We lost the sycamore hawthorn rosebay and bramble. Worst year ever.
 

Cuckmere couple 

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yes...hoping for a better year although not sure how this cold spell will affect....our blackthorn is out and hope we dont miss hawthorn etc because its too cold to forage
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes, but don't be fooled: they'll be hard at it and ready to go the minute it warms up. Up here we've had drones out and Henry texted to say he found an egg in a QC (8fr of brood in a single box).
Mine were out somewhere with a vengeance in 8 degrees. Lots of orientation flights. Brood boxes are rammed with bees.
You’re right Eric. We’ll need to watch out.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Mine were out somewhere with a vengeance in 8 degrees. Lots of orientation flights. Brood boxes are rammed with bees.
You’re right Eric. We’ll need to watch out.
I moved some extremely strong hives to a client's site this morning. I unblocked the entrances and expected nothing but within minutes bees were out reorienting at 5deg! These are on brood and 1/2 and solid with bees so I need to sort them out as soon as the temperature rises.
 
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The Poot 

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Most of the advice on here has been “not to inspect the colonies yet” “ it’s too early”.... looks like the vibe now is that some of us who haven’t opened up yet might get caught out then?
 

Erichalfbee 

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Most of the advice on here has been “not to inspect the colonies yet” “ it’s too early”.... looks like the vibe now is that some of us who haven’t opened up yet might get caught out then?
No
The vibe is be prepared.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
Most of the advice on here has been “not to inspect the colonies yet” “ it’s too early”.... looks like the vibe now is that some of us who haven’t opened up yet might get caught out then?
Not at all, it was too cold to do much the last month and to be honest, last year was the first year ever that I have opened up hives before the end of March - as Dani says, just be prepared to hit the ground running, I'll have a truckful of supers at the ready even at the first inspections.
 

Cuckmere couple 

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yes agree
be prepared as we wont have much time i sensed a few of mine were showing early signs q cups, drone brood etc

im hoping i will be able to demaree 2-3 and it wont be too late, others i may just have to leave as double brood and add supers
 

BigAshW 

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I had three hives packed with bees last weekend and 6,7 and 8 frames of brood respectively. I popped supers on those and I'm ready with demaree boards as soon as it warms up.

Thinking back I should have moved some sealed brood over to the weaker hives to balance things a bit more but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.
 

Cuckmere couple 

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similar to me BigAsh

i put supers on and hoping for best....didnt consolidate brood into single boxes as most on DBB...will have to look when warm enough
 

Niv 

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I had one of my hives so full they had built comb in the fondant tubs and her majesty had already laid in it! I have now made that hive a double BB. Went back 4 days later and it was about 40% drawn and in use.
 

oliver90owner 

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“i notice this time last year”

Last year is gone, past and is history. Some years ago, I supered strong colonies in late march with OSR well in bloom - in several fields. Early April saw those supers removed and the bees collected nothing until late May. Go figure. Observe and act accordingly. It is recent weather and other observations that are important.

The last two days (yesterday and today) I am seeing relatively huge numbers of bees collecting water. A sure sign of no nectar available. I know they are brooding heavily because I’ve seen the signs.
 

oliver90owner 

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I had one of my hives so full they had built comb in the fondant tubs and her majesty had already laid in it! I have now made that hive a double BB. Went back 4 days later and it was about 40% drawn and in use.
Box above or below the brood nest? I expect that is above.
 

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