First full check of the season, accompanied by Anne and Prianka. Photos courtesy of Prianka
The bees are very numerous and (so far) fighting fit. They had taken most of the fondant I had put on a few weeks ago and had even built some comb up into the packet. In an attempt to change a couple of the older frames we put on a second brood box and split 14 frames between them. The idea being that the bees will move up (as bees like to do) onto the new foundation and once the brood has hatched from the old frame it can be removed. That's the theory!
Addendum- Martin our consultant came this morning (Monday) to have a check, he changed all the frames back down into one (!) and advised to perhaps put a super box (honey storage) in a couple of weeks once the queen has moved onto the outer frames. The bees will then move all their stores up into the super to allow more room for eggs. Martin said that they were the healthiest colony he'd seen so far this year but warned to ensure they had enough room to move to reduce the risk of swarming in a few weeks. We also put on a couple of litres of sugar syrup (more accessible to the bees now its warmer) to give them lots of energy to build comb and feed brood.