Feeding Ultrabee pollen substitute and checking apiary in February
Nice warm day in February Put some pollen substitute out for the bees
February 3rd 2020 we had a nice above 60 degree weather. Great time to check my apiary. I also used this time to feed my bees some Ultrabee Pollen Substitute. If real pollen is attainable then they will ignore this stuff and collect the real stuff. If the bees go after this pollen substitute hard then you know there current arent any pollen sources around. I put the pollen in a 5 frame nuc box so that I could cover it up to protect it from the rain.
Moving on to the apiary I notice bees were active. It's a good feeling seeing bees coming and going from their hive. I did notice one hive had no activity. Knowing this was one of the biggest hives going into winter, it had me sad. I just knew the worst had happened. I took off the cover to do a quick look and sure enough no life insight. This was the second hive I've lost this year. Having to head to work soon I didn't have time to do a deep dive into the hive to investigate what had happened to them. I did come back the next day to go through the hive and will post that video soon.
That means I'm at a total of 4 hives. I reordered 10 queens this year and planning on doing 10 splits. The more bees I lose the hard that task will be. At the moment I'll probably split two double deep hives into 12 nucs. 10 will be new queens and 2 will be the current queens from those hives. 3 full frames per nuc and 1 empty frame should work out ok. Defiantly will go over this in an upcoming video.
I removed all the bee cozy insulation wraps. It seemed to be causing a lot of moisture to build up. It hasn't been that harsh of a winter here this year anyway. I removed them from all the hives in fear more hives would die.
The Carniolans were still going strong. They have did great the last 2 winters so I'm not surprised.
As I walked back to the pollen 5 frame nuc I could see bees swarming the box. Bees were covered in pollen. They would land on me and whatever they could to wipe themselves down before heading back to the hive. It was an amazing sight to see.