When Dan came over to do the inspection, half a dozen bees were gathered around the passive infrared sensor by my front door. When I brought the feeder in for cleaning yesterday they can't have got the memo that the sugar's back in the hive. Maybe there were powerful pheromones on there guiding bees to sugar, and these six just hadn't given up. They looked sleepy, though, and after a bit of syrup they hopped onto Dan's glove and suit for a trip back to the hive. They didn't want to go indoors through the barn for some reason, but they were impressively willing to stay put. I'd brought a paper bag, which would never have worked quite so well. I guess some people have an affinity for bees, or pheromones on their suit, or both. In all seriousness, Dan is very gentle, unstressed and unhurried in his beekeeping and we were talking about how that might help too.
I tried my upper-body-only protection today and things went fine. I only had one bee sit on me the whole time. I thought I felt a bee in my welly at one point, but no sting from that either.
We got to the hive and checked inside to see how things were going. As usual, things are good. Besides a few moth larvae and a few earwigs, thing are all in order. The bees are even using the bee gym (as far as we could see). As is usual, Dan saw the queen, and we saw a few of her eggs too, along with some really big larvae. There's lots and lots of stores, and a decent amount of brood, though perhaps fewer eggs than last time. The frames with stores on them now feel heavy, and on several frames contained regular flat rows of food for the winter. It looks as though the next few weeks will be mild, giving them more of an opportunity to get stores from foraging as well as syrup in the feeder.
We left them with a tray of Apiguard thymol gel as part of our varroa preventative plan.