It is the time of the year when young beekeepers minds turn to thoughts of honey. Not harvesting honey, not honey for people, but… whether there is going to be enough honey left in the hive to keep the bees alive until the flowers are in bloom. It is a great sadness to get the hive through the winter only to lose it to a late spring.
So we take precautionary measures, and we feed! This is a sugar syrup made in a volume ratio of 2 sugar:1 water. I heat it on the stove over a low heat until the sugar all melts and I am left with a nice solution:
The first time I did this, the holes in the lid were too large and the syrup just ran out when I inverted it. This is what they look like now that I have some practice:
As I made my way down through the hive, though, I discovered that a fair amount had (unsurprisingly) gone moldy through the winter:
So everything is getting a good airing while I come and ask the internet what I should do with moldy comb. (Edit: I found an answer and a spectacularly good website about bees over here.)
And that is what I did for spring cleaning today.