it got up to 70 today for the first time and the pollen counts are off the charts.

i have 12 colonies that survived the winter, and they were all foraging in earnest.

all are queenright, have good brood patterns, and a little honey still left from last fall.

cluster size varies greatly from 3 frames of bees to 10+, but most are about 8 to 9. on average they have doubled in size in the past 4 weeks.

all are in a single deep, with checkerboarded medium supers on top. i'll report on the success of the checkerboarding as we get through swarm season.

when there are more drones flying, i want to combine two of the hives to make a double deep starter/finisher. i am going to try the cloake board method.

i'll be taking mite counts to help decide which queens get grafted from, and which ones are sacrificed for the queen rearing program.