The signs of spring are appearing and the bees are now finding a few days when the temperature is high enough for them to make cleansing and foraging flights. There is some pollen about but not much nectar. If they have survived so far, check that they have enough stores to finish the winter. A slow feed of a weak syrup can be given to supplement their stores and to stimulate the queen into laying.
To make a weak mixture, mix sugar and water in the ratio of 1 to: 1.25 by weight – for example 4 kg of sugar to 5 kg (5 litres) of water. Feed a small quality at a time with a contact feeder. The access to the syrup can be restricted by covering some of the holes in the feeder mesh to prevent the bees taking the syrup too quickly.