Depending On where you live 71 deg may or may not be that big of a deal. Were I live it happens once in a great while. I’m happy to say that on my lunch I was able to take advantage of the warmth and inspect my nuc colonies. The weakest one is bouncing back very nicely. They were on the brink of starvation, however I noticed some new nectar coming in. I may end up feeding them just a little until I start seeing dandelions.
The next colony is about to outgrow their hive. If I get the opportunity next week I will either put them in ten frame hives or split them (it may be a bit early for a split). They did show the first sign of swarm prep. Which leads me into a tangent because we are getting very close to swarm season.
Capped drone brood is the first sign that a colony is beginning to think about swarming. Don’t misunderstand, not all drone brood is a sign of swarming, however in my limited experience when a colony starts its first drone brood of the season swarm cells are generally not that far behind.
This particular colony has a queen from when one of my colonies swarmed early last year. She is an extremely good layer.
On the face of it you’ll think this brood pattern isn’t very good at all. She has only made use of the lower left corner. I need to point out that every other cell for the most part was being used for pollen or nectar storage. This was the only space available to her. She also had tiny patches of brood at the farthest reaches of the outer most frames where there were maybe 100 cells not in use for other purposes. The best sign of strength in this colony is the bees boiling over the sides when I remove the migratory cover.
Thanks for reading if you enjoyed it please subscribe near the top right of the screen. Also click the like button near the bottom of the page. This helps me determine what you guys like to read about and may steer my writing in the future. If you have any questions or anything to add feel free to leave a comment. How are your colonies faring this year?