I can’t believe it is the end of April and I have not had a chance to post yet. Spring gets really busy sometimes. We had some warmer than usual weather early in April and some colder than usual weather late in April. I went through all 4 hives and un-stacked the boxes to get to the bottom boards and clean them off. Over the coarse of winter the bottom board gets pretty dirty. Anything the bees discard falls to the bottom board and they do not have many chances to haul it outside when it is cold all winter. Mostly there are dead bees accumulating on the bottom board. Sometimes moisture will run down the sides of the hive and end up on the bottom board with the dead bees and other debris. It is a really good idea to get rid of all of this as soon as the weather is warm enough to take the hive apart temporarily (mid 60’s and sunny for a day or two). It is a good idea to keep some kind of cover on all the boxes as you work to retain some of the heat. There is brood in the hive at this time of year and if it gets too chilled it will die. So try to work fairly quickly.
While you are lifting boxes off, pay attention to how much they weigh so you know if the bees have enough stores or it you need to start feeding them sugar syrup. My hives had a bit of capped honey left this year and I actually saw fresh nectar in the hives from early blooming fruit trees. So I did not need to feed this spring.