Was fortunate enough to have the odd warm day today at 56°F. The bees were flying and the Sun was shining. So at lunch i went out to the hives to remove the extra middle deep box on Mary. Since the hive would be open only briefly the smoker was not used; though i still used the veil, jacket & gloves.
The top cluster was still in the same position in the top box. Unfortunately the bottom cluster had moved up a little in to the once uninhabited middle box. Which means all the boxes are being used. However there's still 2 separate clusters. I needed them to join.
The bottom cluster was much bigger than the top cluster. I decided to shake the top cluster into the middle box. So i had to pull frames to do it. It was still in the high 50°'s so i did it quickly and closed her up. Afterward the flying activity out of Mary increased but better matched that of Myrina. Now both hives are double deeps again.
At this time I replaced the old (original) T-cover on Myrina with a new one; formally Duchess's T-cover. Other than several frames in Myrina's top box all the original equipment is gone.
Finally, a Fly Day in the high 50's. Opened up each box of the hives and removed the Apistan strips that had been place there in late November. Lots of bees were buzzing out of Myrina but only a few from Mary. I saw a nice cluster in the top deep of Mary. Then No bees in the middle deep. Then a bigger cluster in the Bottom deep. What does that mean? I mentioned it on the bee forum. Michael Bush said he had seen before were a cluster can split on a warm day. There may be a virgin queen mixed in with the real queen. Won't know 'till later in Spring when i can do an inspection.
Mary Top Deep
Mary Middle Deep
Mary Bottom Deep
Also i noticed no real condensation to worry about. A smal drip here or a little dollop there. Just enough to give the bees a water source inside the hive when it's to cold to fly.
Bees Drinking Condensation Water
I didn't see any pests but i didn't remove any frames either. The uninsulated VB on Mary was replaced with a Insulated one and the nine hole uninsulated VB on Myrina was replaced with a three hole version. Both VB's only have a single hole remaining open with tape over the other holes. I had one pollen patty laying around so i cut it in half and put it in each hive. It went directly on top of the frames. Off-center from the middle towards the back. Otherwise the hole in the Inner cover would have been blocked.
Myrina looked good with bees clustered in both boxes together. All the deeps on Mary & Myrina are still heavy with honey and whatever pollen they collected last Fall.
Myrina Top Deep
Myrina Bottom Deep
After the quick opening and closing Mary's bees came out in force.