Wednesday. Today I noticed that dandelions are starting to come up. The red maples and skunk cabbage are no longer flowering, so at this time of year bees switch to dandelions, which are another very important source of food. Not very many out yet. Seems strange to be looking forward to dandelions. For years, I experienced anxiety when they popped up on my lawn because I knew they would quickly form those seed heads, and then you know you will soon be swamped with dandelions. Now when I see them I feel glad for the bees!
It was so nice and warm, I took the bee cozies off both hives! I tried taking the mouse guards off the front entrance, but the tool I brought with me to do this (a pen knife) was not effective. So they stay for now. I need to take them off soon. The bees have more trouble coming and going through those little holes now that there are so many of them and now they are foraging more. The hives are still tilted forwards too, which is what I did at the beginning of winter so that any condensation build up would run forward and not drip into the hive. I will need to set them all level again. Not today though.
My smoker is always going out. Today it went out without my realizing it, and while I was puffing away at the bees, what came out was a cloud of ash instead of smoke. I laughed when one poor bee was turned completely dusty grey with ash powder. It looked a little confused. I tried blowing it off, but it didn't seem to make any difference.
I gave the bees more sugar syrup and left.