Friday morning there was a mosquito service a block away spraying but my bees seem ok. I’m hoping the combination of early morning spraying schedule and distance may have helped.
Today, I took an early morning look-see inside the hive to check status of feeding and colony. Unsurprisingly, they’d consumed the gallon of supplemental feed I’d given them, and much to my delight there were a good number of bees active in the second/upper super and signs of comb development.
There was no sign of parasite or pest debris on the board beneath the hive. While early, I’ll take that as good news.
I’m trying to minimize disturbing them, so I didn’t keep it open long or have a helper for pictures this time. Unless there any signs that warrant concern, I won’t be reopening the hive again soon. Perhaps in a month or so, to remove the feeder bag (which will be long gone) which should have done its job and given them a nice strong start.
Finally, little black ants have been exploring the hive stand lately and I recently witnessed an unusual defense from the bees against the few that made it to the hive itself. The bees don’t attempt to sting or bite these tiny ants, perhaps they are too small. Instead they wait until the ants are very close, then flap their wings very fast, slapping and blowing the ants away. A few bees actually seem dedicated to this purpose, positioning themselves near the entrance and along the seams between the supers.
To make the ants’ job harder, I placed a few small pails around the legs and filled with oil to deter them from being able to scale the hive stand.