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We all are anxious to get winter, 2020 and COVID behind us so I was quite excited last week when I saw the long range forecast for this up coming week of 60's F days and 40's F nights. I'm all ready to bust open the hives, throw on the top feeders, set out pollen feeders and get ready for the upcoming year. I believe someone much smarter than I commented that it still might be too early and to proceed cautiously. Well, yes, 4 days of 60/40 weather, sunny and warm, all the snow should be gone are still in the forecast-days 6, 7 and 8 (from today), well not so good. Back into the mid 40's/low 30's by next Sunday, possible snow on the following Monday. So I'm on the fence on what to do this week. I guess the prudent thing to do is to use the opportunity to open the hives and get an early inspection along with starting a spring round of OAV. I'm on the fence with any Apivar strips after the OAV plus the 10 strip package I have was opened last fall, that I re-sealed, wrapped in plastic then in a ziplock and refrigerated-think they're any good still? I guess I'm more concerned with using the product and my IPM plan is to rely on OAV and Formic (organic acids) in big booming colonies. I'm also re-queening with VSH F1 stock if things work out.

The long and short of it is day 9 and 10 look like around 50 F and just above freezing at night. Should I just get the maintenance done and hold off, or go for it and get a jump on the new season. My hives are all insulated with 1" pink foam boards, vented through a quilt box currently.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Larry, this week will be good to:

Open the hives up and check stores.
Move honey frames around to make sure that each hive still has several and they are next to the brood.
Clean dead bees from the bottom boards.
Put on pollen patties if you have not already done so.
Use your Apivar strips and treat the hives. Remember that the strips must be off for two weeks before you put on your honey supers.
 
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I suspect the apivar is now bad. I think they start losing the potency once the package is open.

I would not start feeding unless they are low on stores. If you have more cold coming you do not want the hive to start building up, and then get stuck with more brood than they can keep warm. All that I do this time of year is open the top to check stores
 

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Tomorrow we are slated to have 70 degrees F. I have 2 colonies that were on top of double screened boards. 1 gets moved to it's own bottom board, the other small cluster died so it's drawn frames move to the first. Both of the 2 colonies get clean bottom boards rotated in and I'll see if they get an empty box removed or not. I'll also do as JWPalmer suggested and move thing around as needed. I added pollen patties.

I treated with OAV this week and I will do that monthly. Thanks to the EPA I don't have to pull my honey supers when I treat any more. Next month I'll do my first mite check to see what my numbers are.

Here we had the Maples start in on the 3rd.
 
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