As this will be my first Spring with two overwintered hives I was hoping that I could get a few pointers on what I need to look for and what I need to do in the weeks ahead (colony strength, feeding, medication, etc.). My two hives are still alive, although there are about 200 dead bees on the entrance of one hive. I did find about 20 Varroa mites on a Varroa screen in that hive in the Fall, but that doesn't seem too bad. Otherwise it was a strong colony. One more question, if I medicate my two brood chambers, can I continue to use them durring the honey flow? will the medication be transferred to the honey supers? If it matters I'm in Southern New England. As always any comments will be greatly appreciated.
Gary, You still have some time, but, quickly go to the library and read "HIVE Management" by Richard E. Bonney. The book will take you through the beekeeping year. Your concerns will be swarm management, feeding, replace comb and frames that are too old or damaged. You will probably need too reverse your hive bodies if the gang is at the top of the hive. You may wish to stimulate the brood cycle by feeding pollen (your own or local)or pollen substitute. Some feed sugar syrup to imitate the start of nectar flow. You should be medicating for AFB and traechial mites, if you medicate for the prescribed amount of time you will not have any problems with supers. Just remember NO supers on while medicating. The dead bees are normal, you should clean up the hive by scraping propolis and burr comb and clean up frames (it makes it easier during the rest of the year). "BEEKEEPING" also by Bonney is a good starter book also, you may pick up a lot of good ideas and what you should be doing.