After the appalling weather this year we finally had the opportunity to open up the hives this afternoon.
We finished 2012 with three full size hives and two nucs. I have been concerned about all of them but with freezing weather turning to monsoon and back to freezing it has been impossible to do anything.
So it wasn't without a certain amount of trepidation that we approached the first of the three big hives. This is the colony that we took from a tree last year where it was upsetting a farmer - he was being attacked every time he drove past in his tractor! To our delight it was full of brood and had a small amount of honey. We put on a super and moved on.
Elsewhere there was good news and bad news. The good was that each and every hive/nuc had brood and looked healthy. However, they all had a minimum amount of honey stored so we put the feeders on and will give them a syrup feed tomorrow morning. Will they survive? I hope so. The oil seed rape is just coming into flower around is so if the rain holds off a bit they will have plenty of food.