Yesterday afternoon was an unusually beautiful day. The sun was shining, the clouds were parting and the bees were billowing in and out of the hive, covered from head to foot in pollen. This, of course, gave me a great desire to open the hive and take the first peak in a couple months.
Not knowing how they'd take to the intrusion I suited up, smoked them and began dismantling their abode. The first few frames (Langstroth hive) were okay, though I had a few more dive bombers than usual in the summer/fall. I pulled the fourth frame and WHAM! Dozens of bees began a full-out assault on my face. I calmly put the frames back and began sealing them back up and they became a tad more hospitable.
I look forward to Spring when the nectar flow is on and they have not a care in the world but to increase their stores and, most likely, swarm. I will always have a soft spot for the first Langstroth hive of my apiary, and even though I don't plan to add any more, I certainly don't plan to get rid of this one!