Sunday, January 17, 2016

Another Hive Down

I checked the hives on Wednesday when the sun was out and the temps near 50.  The pink hive was actively housecleaning and doing cleansing flights but the other was silent.    I waited a few hours because the smaller hive often takes a bit more coaxing to break cluster and come out, but never saw a single bee. 

So.   The next day I waited until it was warm again and lifted the lid on the quiet hive for a quick look and found a completely silent hive.   I lifted some of the candy I'd put in during the fall and found the dead cluster up high, tucked right under the food source, barely fist sized.   They didn't make it through the couple nights of 0 degrees early last week.  Just not enough bees.

It's very discouraging.    That's 3 out of 4 hives down this year. 

I put some tar paper around the pink hive, checked the quilt box for good ventilation and tucked another giant bag of leaves up next to the bottom of the hive on the east.   It has excellent wind block on the west and north, with sun exposure to the east and south.   Assuming the sun shines again, that will help.    However, it's going to get near 0 again for the next couple of days.   Let's hope these ladies are tough enough to make it.  

3 comments:

  1. Dang, sorry to hear about that...Don't give up though! Save your frames of wax, and don't let the wax moths destroy them, they will give any splits or packages you have a huge head start in the spring. So much so, that a new colony could move right in and still make honey for you this year.

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    Replies
    1. Those are good ideas. Thanks! I have a bunch of comb in the freezer [some closed off but still outside in the very cold weather]. I've got 2 nucs ordered and my fingers are crossed that the last hive will make it. It's so frustrating. Nothing I do seems to have a positive effect.

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  2. Sorry to hear Robin. Very frustrating!

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