Today Peter weighed all the hives in Pojo. (We are going to use a new numbering system but for the time being these are the old numbers.) These are the Oventrask hives:
#1 13 kg (L&F) - we "fed" this hive using a Farrar box of frames holding reserved honey from last year
#2 27 kg (3F)
#4 19 kg (L&F)
#5 17 kg (L&F)
#6 17 kg (L&F)
#8 18 kg (L&F)
And the one remaining hive in Rosendal:
#8 18 kg (3F)
The hives are weighed by lifting up the back of the hive using a fish scale. This is accurate enough to determine if the hive contains enough food to keep the bees alive until there is an abundant supply of food. Over the next month we will monitor the situation and give Apifonda (bee cake) to any hives that need it.
We use oxalic acid as a preventive treatment against the varroa mite with a dose of 25-30ml per hive (from a mixture of 75g oxalic acid powder diluted in 1 litre water + 1kg sugar)
We treated the four hives in Espoo yesterday and the hives in Pojo on Friday. It was opportunity to take a peek inside the hives.
In Espoo three of the four hives are active (but no brood yet) and have cleaned out after the winter. The fourth hive (the so-called nasty buggers) is still in a small ball and not active. It is very small and we think it unlikely that it will survive. We need to take a closer look to figure out what the problem is but it is too cold at the moment (we are having frosts at night).
In Pojo one of the Rosendal hives is empty. This is the hive that we moved from Espoo and installed on the foundations of the old barn. There were no signs of intrusion, mould or anything else. This was a split hive and possibly too small to survive the winter. All the other hives are in great shape.
I stopped at the supermarket on the way home from work and got home at midday. It was very warm and sunny - I was planning to do some tidying up in the back garden in Espoo. But... when I parked the car in the front driveway I could see clouds of bees humming around three of the four hives we have here. I went to take some photos and one little bee came and sat on my coat as I walked around! I noticed they were hovering over the heathers that I planted in pots for some winter colour. They were also drinking water from pools of melted ice on the driveway. I think they are very hungry and very thirsty. Time to to get some Apifonda into the hives before they wear themselves out. They look pretty healthy and very active.
The bees need to clean out the hives in the early days of spring which means removing all the bee poop and cadavers from inside. They seem to make a big mess on the outside of the hive when they do this. Today's busying around has left a sweet honey smell in the air - incredible.