Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Don't Worry, Bee Happy

So, I finally opened our single beehive today, since it was above 40 deg F.  We haven't heard them buzzing for the past month and observed no evidence of cleansing flights.  I didn't expect to miss all the yellow snow that usually arrives in late winter from the mass of bee poo, normally excreted by a very large and healthy hive.  This unending winter has been tough on everyone.  Despite still having about 30 lbs of honey, the bees starved to death.  It looked like the cluster broke up too early into several groups, spreading out through the honey supers and then freezing mid-meal.

It took two hours to go through the hive bodies and remove (most of) the carnage.  I rearranged the frames for a new nucleus colony and closed it back up.  Along with several deep frames, there is one completely full honey super that I can't harvest until I have the help of a clean-up crew.  I hope the new family is as productive as the last.  We had many great harvest seasons from that group.  No stings since their fumbled installation, they were a pleasure to have in the garden and will be missed.

honey harvest fall 2013

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