Ah yes, you may have remembered the name of this blog. You may be wondering now that it is spring, “how are the bees doing?” I just can’t pull the wool over your eyes! Well once again I lost both hives over the winter. When I peeked in on both hives on a mild March day, one hive had already perished and I thought a mouse had gotten into the second hive, but it still seemed to be doing okay. Well April rolled around and the weather got up to 80 and I didn’t see a single bee leaving the “good” hive. Bad news.
I did my official hive check a couple weekends ago. The first hive didn’t have a significant amount of dead bees, nor did it have much honey left. This was the hive who I’d left alone after creating their own queen. I also noticed some voles had chewed through some of the wax of the honeyless comb. I would have expected to see more dead bees due to starvation or shrews/voles picking them off, so perhaps they just absconded. This is a bit of a mystery.
The second hive looked much worse. There were tons of dead bees scattered on the floor of the hive, and tons of honey left. A couple frames had a faint trace of mold covering them. I forgot to put in any protection for condensation on the hives this year, so I fear they suffered from condensation build up. When condensation builds up on the top of the hive it drips onto the cluster of bees below, chilling them and eventually freezing them to death. That’s my best guess to their demise as I luckily didn’t see any traces of disease in the hive.
Well after 4 seasons of crap luck with beekeeping, you probably suspect I’m giving up for a while. At least that would be the sane thing to do in this scenario. Nope! I decided to buy another package again! I hived the bees this past Saturday and it took me <10 minutes to hive them this time. Hiving bee packages is really getting old hat! On top of the new bees, I have 50 lbs of honey to harvest… stay tuned for that in another post.