The bees show quite a change over the last few days, since it's been warm enough for them to be bringing in significant quantities of pollen from willow and blackthorn. A week ago, it was too cold for them to be flying, and they didn't like being opened at all. Serve me right for bothering them! The two colonies with my own queens were fine, but the other two were flying off the comb like mad, and trying to sting the whole time. Today, they weren't bothered by my intrusion at all.
They all had big patches of eggs and open brood, showing that the queens have been busy over hthe last few days. Hive 5 now has brood on five frames, the rest on 1 1/2 or 2. Hive 5 has a patch of capped drone brood. A drone pupa is a lot bigger than a worker, so the cells are larger, with domed cappings, and bulge well above the worker brood around them. As soon as I have a reasonable number of drones - which will be by the beginnig of May at this rate - I'll be able to raise new queens and replace the two I didn't breed myself.
Apart from that, all the onions are now in, and I've started planting the potatoes.
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