So, this last weekend was bee-a-u-tiful! And I was able to pop the top on the hive. I currently have one hive with 2 deeps and a medium on top. The bottom deep was pretty much empty going into winter, but I didn’t get it off before the weather went cold so they’ve come through the winter in that set up. They had the medium full of honey and a couple frames in the middle deep.
The girls seem healthy and happy – fat with well formed wings and happily buzzin, and the mite count seems to have dropped with the brood break. When I went in on Sunday, the medium still looked almost full of honey. I took a peek at the middle deep, but didn’t pull any frames (it was a little windy and I wanted to disturb them as little as possible). 3-4 frames looked empty, but it still had at least 1 frames of honey and the rest had bees on them. The bees were covering 4-5 frames to one side of the deep and the same frames in the medium. Again, I didn’t check for brood, but I’m pretty sure I’ve had at least one small orientation flight in the last week. And they have been bringing in lots of multi-colored pollen on the sprinkling of warm days we have had in Atlanta.
So – the plan. I really want to try and split this hive this spring. They seem to be pretty strong (heh, made it through 2 cold winters with my blundering newbie beekeeping – they must be pretty resilient!) so I think a split would be a good idea, plus my husband banned me from spending any more money on them this year! (no new queens for me
) The weather looks pretty good for the next few weeks and the almanac says a mildish spring. (Plus General Beauregard says early spring) soooo, my plan is to give them some 1:1 syrup in hopes to start them building up. Then, around March 30 or the beginning of April, pull some frames of eggs and honey and put them in a new deep with some drawn frames I have from last year. Cross my fingers, feed and hope they build a queen.
Does this sound like it might work? Do you think it is a bad idea to encourage them to build up early? I am thinking that with a full medium of honey, plus some supplemental feed, they should have enough food until the flow starts. I would love to hear ya’lls thoughts/advice/warnings.
Thanks! And happy-almost-spring-but-know-the-winter-is-not-over-but-almost-and-can-hardly-wait season!!!!