With most of the snow gone and the weather getting warmer .... I'm getting all froggy about getting the girls ready for spring. In eastern Washington, the local beeks usually pick up and install their package bees during the second week of April. Looking at the average temperatures for our area, I see that March's ave. is 48 F, April's ave. is 57 F, May's is 65 F and by June the ave temp is 72 F. Having said all that, what would be the best way to build up the # of bees in my hive, so by May the hive is ready for the pending nectar flow?
The hive is presently made up of 3 deeps, which all have comb from last year. I haven't take the hive apart to see how things look inside, but whenever I take the top off to feed them using plastic bags, the top deep seems to be pretty full. On warmer days, I usually have 3-4 dozen bees buzzing around the hive.
I'd like to do a good inspection of the hive, but with the temperature hoovering around 44 F, I'm very hesitant to even consider it. How warm should it be before I consider doing a good inspection?
The hive is comprised of Carniolans, who have been great. The only times I've gotten stung is when I've done something really really stupid. They seem to be very forgiving. I understand that Carniolans tend to do a good jod in ramping up during early spring.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.