Out of 6 survivor colonies I see 2 flying very little indicating they are weak in numbers. Since today was 20'C I decided to quickly inspect and see if they are queen right and if they have any brood. Both colonies had a fine queen but no brood nor eggs. I know one queen is from 2012 since she was the one that came with the first colony I bought from a local beekeeper and he clips wings. The other queen was from a split so I assume she is still the same one. These colonies had brood last year. I looked closer into the combs and found no old pollen which colonies usually have stored from the last year. They need this pollen to start raising brood from February/March depending on how cold/warm the weather is. Without this pollen they can only sit ducks and wait for the first pollen flow in the spring which is now. I could see a few cells with new fresh willow pollen but this needs to be fermented first and the more they wait the more old worker bees will die and the colony will dwindle. They do have enough honey stores though which is good.
Willow blooming (male flowers offer pollen). We have lots of willows on our Willow Farm ;) surprise surprise
As soon dandelions start blooming I will shake some house bees from the strong colonies to help them out since they are valuable treatment free survivors and that old queen might make at lest one more split before she gets super-seeded by her own bees.
Female willow flowers offer nectar
Foragers bringing home freshly collected willow pollen
I have sown one more acre with white clover and a huge patch with Borage, Calendula and tomorrow will sow lots of Phacelia to help out my ladies with pesticide free food in this dead Danish eco-system. Its very strange to me that Danish people try to create biodiverse cities and towns to save the nature yet the very country side which should be The Nature is being plundered and poisoned by mono-crop agri-business (cry and roll eyes). The country side smells of chemical warfare this spring instead of flowers.