Okay . . . I warned you. I hope this works! I couldn't embed the video, so I put it up on Youtube
My buddy Erika and her kids came over this weekend to do a quick hive check with me. With her help, I went quickly through all three hives. One had, in fact, died over the winter, as I suspected, while two were okay. But, bees being bees, one hive was booming, ready for a honey super, and the other one was okay.
This video that was shot by Erika is me going through the booming hive (which was the last one) while Nasir moves from being a little wary to an enthusiastic would-be beekeeper. Erika is going to have to hurry to get a hive for him!
Also, apologies. My neighbors were doing something inside the falling-down shed right behind where we were working, so there are construction noises during much of it. This is in no way a complete hive inspection. It's just a first peek for the spring, just making certain there was a viable queen (Nasir spotted the queen in the hive to the left in the video, when we were going through that one. Sharp eyes! Unfortunately, I didn't have a paint pen to mark her with). I made my assessment based on brood pattern, and looked to find out if they were in need of more space for expansion and swarm prevention.
I hope to figure out the video thing better and feature many more Adventures in the Hives.