The good news is that our concerns about the splotch brood pattern of the last inspection have effectively been eliminated! The queen has been laying strongly over the last 2 weeks, especially as the weather has been sunny and warm. They also shifted to north side of the box again! We shifted them back, again, but who knows why they’re doing that. That side might be getting more sun midday so its warmer, but that’s just a guess. Most of the time you just have to trust them that they know what’s best!
Even though the queen has been laying well, the amount of wax they have built and honey they have stored seems to be slower in comparison to the other hives in the yard. This may be a simple result of genetic variation between all the different bees. One positive way to look at this is, many of the bee breeds that survive well through the winter typically start slow in the spring, so fingers crossed!
We are also getting a second hive box ready. The second hive box will be the second “story” on the hive, that we will give them once they get too crowded in the first story. We will add this once they have filled up about 90% of the bottom box. This can happen very quickly, so we have the equipment ready to go, so we can respond to the bees’ needs right away!