Had a real busy weekend, as a result this post is a reasonable length.
Saturday - I removed all the equipment from my new apiary site and the garage of the bee keeper who has had to retire and he donated to the association (see previous post) and took it to a safe lock up. This took a couple of trips despite using a long wheel base transit van.
Sunday - I arranged an early meeting for the three others who won bids for hives + colonies to come and see their hives. We walked into the apiary to see only the odd one or two bees were cautiously testing the weather conditions before flying out, we all stood around talking all things bee keeping for about an hour by which time the sun came out and warmed the air. We watched the entrances and the amount of foragers coming and going with bright yellow pollen. Although each of the hives is at different states of spring build up its a great way to show new bee keepers want to expect from thier bees according to the weather and the size of the colony.
Later in the afternoon my wife and I went back to the new apiary to drop off two new top bar hives I made over winter (see tbh project OCT 21, 2009 post) and we were very pleased to see all four hives were now out flying. My hive had a been busy cleaning house and removing the dead and had about 30 odd bees out sunning themselves on the front of the hive and a constant stream of bees who had been out collecting water and pollen.
We then drove to our other site and after watching the entrance for 5 minutes to only see a few bees coming and going. I decided to take another quick look inside under the crown board and once again I was still surprised to see about 40 bees sat on top of the frames, I honestly thought I had lost this colony or I would of only seen a few bees left. I guess they are just slow at building up but until I make a frame by frame inspection its hard to say exactly how they are doing.