"Girls, when are you going to get moving?" I found myself asking that question often today as I checked the hive for brood. We had cool weather again (a high of 53 degrees) and a hard rain yesterday. Even though I waited until the afternoon to go out and open the hive, my bees were still just balled up being lazy. They seem to be drawing out beeswax, which is a good sign, but apparently not much more beyond that. Compared to Coyote's colony, they seem very, very, very small and sleepy.
My main goal of checking the hive today was to verify that my queen had begun to lay brood. It wasn't very sunny, so I had a hard time actually seeing any larva. However, I do believe I saw a few in the frame nearest to the middle (where I had installed the queen cage). It also appeared that the few larva present had jelly surrounding them, however, there were too few larva present to see any sort of laying pattern. In light of the bad weather we've been having, it doesn't surprise me that the queen seems slow to mate. The hive isn't acting as if they've rejected her, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she wasn't eaten by a bird or something over the last few days.
While out working the hive, I also decided to do a little equipment rearranging to encourage the colony to stay strong. Chiefly, I placed their supplemental feeder directly inside the of the hive. Previously, it had fit into part of the entrance reducer, but the bees still had to exit the hive in order to obtain sugar syrup. I wanted to make sure they were able to access high quality food despite all of these stormy days. The bees also seem to be continuing to eat the pollen patty, so I'm taking this as a good sign.
It appears that I'm stuck waiting on warmer weather before any real excitement happens. In the mean time, I plan to continue rereading several of my favorite bee books (and taking a nap or two myself).