It’s been really cold – down to freezing overnight – but I was aware the Thermosolar hive is very well insulated and the bees might be needing more room as the cold may not have checked their progress in the way that other hives would. Bees need to expend a lot of energy keeping their nest at 38ºC and colonies in poorly insulated hives are slower to build up if the temperatures are low as they use so much nectar just maintaining their warmth.
The bees were busy bringing in pollen:
I put a new super on the hive as they will be needing more room soon and it’s best to be prepared in case we suddenly get an improvement in the conditions and they romp away. They weren’t best pleased to see me and the breeze was cool bordering on cold so I didn’t check inside the hive. The Varroa load seems minimal from the inspection board, which is brilliant considering the high number I was seeing over winter and earlier in the spring.
There is a fair amount of forage on the site, including large patches of ground ivy, and the oaks and other trees are all flowering now bringing lots of new pollen, propolis and nectar to the bees.
I took a wander around the rest of the site to check the bait hive (no activity) and see what else was there. I heard chiffchaff, whitethroat, tits and a wren, and above me a raven and a buzzard were jostling for position on the thermal:
Once the weather cheers up the bees should be able to start building up properly and I’ll be looking out for swarms. The hive next door is currently vacant so it will be good to get some bees in there.