One of the two original hives didn't have much honey reserves so I started to feed it some 2:1 sugar syrup. After the long days of rain we had the other week, that hive was doing good after being fed for a week or so, and the strong hive had used up a lot of its food while it was stuck in the hive and couldn't get outside. I took off all the supers on the hives that still had them and put feeders on all three hives.
After about another week of feeding on all three, they are all coming along strong now. The hive at Possum's garden seemed the most active. It is in full sun, so it may think that summer is still hanging on more than the other hives that get some shade during the day.
After sitting down and looking at the entrance to the hive and watching the bees for a few minutes, I noticed that most of the bees on the outside were drones. Apparently the ladies were kicking the drones out of the hive. Some were down in the grass at the front of the hive, some were on the face of the hive box. Others were making a landing on the entrance to the hive, only to be pushed back away by the worker bees. No more free loaders allowed.
The bees are so fascinating to watch. Every time I tell the Good Wife that I am going to make a quick inspection at the hives, she knows now that it will be an hour or two before I am home again. The inspections get done, which is why I went to the hive, bu then I also spend a bit of time just watching them. Seeing what they are bringing back to the hive. Are there legs full of pollen? Are the guard bees checking them out at the entrance? What is everyone doing in the hive?
The Good BIL (Brother-In-Law) was talking about getting a hive. Maybe when I do splits this spring I can give him one of my hives. He has a great garden with lots of veggies, fruit and flowering plants all around his house, even though he lives in a suburb. After having the bees this first year, I now want a hive at the house, knowing that they are gentle and don't bother people because they have work to do. I'll keep you posted as to what comes of the Good BIL and his potential beekeeping.