January 20, 2014 outside the thrive hive top bar hive and there is a lot of activitiy. The temperature went up to 12 degrees Celcius (54 F) just ahead of another snow storm coming our way. This one looks like a keeper although the ice from last December lasted a week after the snow melted. The busy bees are a great sign as they are getting some fresh air before tis too late. Newbees are taking first flights and others are taking cleansing flights. The mesh cover has a hole just big enough for one bee to fit through at a time. This is a good sign to let me know the colony is doing well and that I better start making that second top bar hive. Before I know it the weather will be warm and another package of honey bees is arriving in April. It seems likely I will need a place to put them when they arrive.
I don’t get to see the honey bees like this in January. There is a lot of good activity. The bees appear healthy and I don’t note any Varroa Destructor mites on them. From what I can see today this colony looks like it can make it through the spring not just to it. Spring is the tough time and if this hive keeps pace with its progress to date then a good spring survival should lead to summer honey. Not that I would take much maybe just a little.
The next hive I make will be just like this one which would allow for interchangeable parts and bees if necessary. If this hive makes it so strongly through the start of spring there is a lot of room for growth yet in this hive design and swarming may be averted. We’ll see.