By Friday, 4/18/14 or Sat. 4/19/14, we will perform our first hive checks of the season. (We never open the hive when the outside temperatures are below 50*)
Below is a list of what we are doing/looking for:
Filling up the sugar water (don't let your bees run out of sugar syrup!!)
An empty queen cage (which should be removed from the hive and stored for the fall queen caging event)
Eggs (1/4 the size and about the same shape as a grain of white rice)
Larva (plump worm-like)
Queen (If you do not find your queen but you do have eggs and/or larva, then you more than likely have a queen, BUT. . . if you do not find the queen and there is no "royal evidence" (i.e. eggs/larva) then your hive may be queenless. I do have several back-up queens on hand. They are $25 a piece in the case you need to re-queen.
Stay tuned for updates. Pretty soon the bees will be hauling in willow pollen! Watch for those pussy willows!!