Everything was going well this holiday season until today. I went out to confirm my suspicions that something was wrong with Honey Bee Hive A. I installed Hive A in April of 2011 and it is very sad to realize there is no life left in it now. Photos – http://bit.ly/YUzvgS What bees there are were all on the screened bottom board. This hive had 2 deeps and 1 medium super. The super is full of honey and the upper deep still had three full frames of honey. The lower deep frames were empty. With the brood cells that were left I found no indication of foul brood. My guess is that I lost my queen late in the fall and the result was this. I would assume there would be more dead bees though. Any advice or ideas on what may have gone wrong, what I should do with the leftover honey and how to avoid this in the future would be greatly appreciated. I have some calls for advice and help out to the BeeSource.com forum and TheSurvivalPodcast forum plus another friend. We’ll see what comes back.
The last time I checked Hive A thoroughly was on October 14 and the hive was healthy and had plenty of stores, bees and some brood. The last noticeable activity was on November 10 with lots of buzzing bees. Recently on the rare warm sunny afternoon I did not notice any bees from this hive being active. In Hive B which was installed in May of 2012 the bees there have been active on every sunny day in the 50’s. They still looked good today.
This is sad but not unexpected. It could be worse. Instead of a 100% loss since I have two hives my loss is only 50% but I’ll have to figure out how I’ll get bees this spring. Wasn’t planning on another cost expenditure. Dammit.
I was planning to go to the home store to get supplies for building some top bar hives in case either of the two hives swarm in the spring. I will still go through with those plans for building two top bar hives and I will also add a large number of Mason Bee homes to my property.