Each year is different due to weather, the bees, and our busy schedules. April 2020 is no exception. Some of you have reported hives that seem far ahead of schedule. Or maybe it only seems that way since the weather for doing anything with the bees except quick checks has been difficult.
This beekeeper likes to equalize his hives but it has been too cold to move brood frames around outside of the boxes. 55 degrees is easy chill brood. It can fool you, as it feels cool and not too many bees are flying. But it has not been cold enough to slow down the plants and trees that are blooming.
After posting this and sending it out as an email, I have received several responses saying they had a swarm this week as well, Another beekeeper called me an hour ago (Saturday, April 25), when she found numerous queen cells in one of her hives. Another two to three days and they would have swarmed.
So be diligent. Even if you can not inspect your hives completely, at least check them to see if you see and queen cells. That is usually pretty easy as you remove a frame or two quickly just to check. You can also just tip up the upper deep and glance at the bottom, where most swarm cells are located. But then, many of us have not unwrapped our hives yet due to the cold nights. Looks like thei week will be much milder, with lows in the mid 40s.
A huge swarm!
A Monster Swarm!!
Four MORE members notified me about Swarms today, 4-25