Oh Sean, I feel for you, losing a colony is saddening, so many of us know that exact same feeling. BUT....keep you chin up
. This is another year. You are having that nice spring weather that I am having right now, I know that. Your colonies will build up. If you haven't lost any more by now, I doubt that you will. You have left them lots of honey. That is what can be the problem now in the PNW is spring dwindling (they call it that). The winter bees will be dying off. BUT...your queens that came through the winter will be laying small patches of brood now. Mine have just begun, totally late, but there is two softball patches of brood, capped, open brood. THese days will make the queen really get going. So Sean, head up, chin up, things will be OK. You will hopefully have strong colonies that you can make a split later (I personally would do it after the blackberry flow, unless they are getting into swarm mode, then you may have to split them before blackberry). I think the blackberry flow will be late again this year. Last year it was one month behind...I clearly remember that, and no blackberries that were sweet to harvest, too little of that waning summer sun to make sweet berries. Oh my apology, I am ramblin', truly, sorry. Have that wonderful, most awesome day, health. Cindi
PS. Good luck with the cut out in the steeple, smiling.