I really dont have any answers about persons not having many bees...maybe ck for a queen or brood again when there is a good day. Perhaps some of the bees did not make it thru the winter, but these did? are there mites that could have reduced the population? I always have more questions than answers myself.
I lost a hive to mites last fall- I dont treat with pesticides and this year I will try cultural methods. I also lost a strong hive this winter. They were dead, all balled up between frames, plenty of honey in the hive. I have no idea what got them.
I have one hive left which seems to be going strong. I opened it up this weekend and "flipped the supers" - top one to bottom, bottom one to top. There were plenty of bees. I lightly smoked the hive, but I guess not enough, and was driven off, which happens to me a lot. Anyway, I did pull frames, saw brood, but never got through the whole thing before bees got inside my veil and, well, tried to make a pin cushion out of my face. I was lucky to get the whole hive back together!
At bee meeting they say it is best to have more than one hive so that you can compare how they are doing. Interesting that in my yard, 2 die of different causes, while one colony grew stronger...
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Today I went into my hive with the intent of checking on how much food the bees had and whether or not I should consider feeding. Like Cathy in her post below, my deep super was loaded with honey. All the frames were loaded. There didn't seem to be anywhere for brood or to store any of the pollen the bees are bringing back. My impression was the queen and brood was still down in the brood box. They have to be storing all that pollen somewhere. This is my first year also and lack experience. I thought also that the number of bees flying and on the Super frames was reasonable this early in the season. I'm thinking now that I should have went down to the brood box and checked that out to see if there was brood and evidence of laying. I was afraid of disturbing the hive too early.
Hope someone has some ideas and advise
I opened my hive Friday 3/19 it was 70 degrees. top hive box had 9 out of 10 frames loaded with
honey. Very little bees, no eggs. I'm thinking no queen. What's a girl to do? I ordered a nuc
for my second hive but can I help this one? Carl said something about newspaper between hive boxes and a new queen. I need direction. This is my first hive.
Thanks, Cathy Bee
Friday, March 12, 2010
I had noticed that my entrance reducer was removed on several mornings. Noticing scratches on the wood, I determined that a raccoon or skunk was pulling the reducer away and scraping dead bees off the bottom board for a late nite snack. Today, I wrapped the hive with garden fencing I had left over from last year. It came in a roll, so I just unrolled it around the hive and secured it to itself. My hive is on a hive stand, so that should hold the fencing about 6 inches from the front of the hive. We'll see if this takes care of the problem.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
My bees were very active today. It looked like one returning to the hive had some stuff in her pockets. I removed my mouse guard to give them easier passage in and out. Hope thats OK. I'm still gaining experience. I haven't bothered the hive oterwise. Think I'll leave them be for awhile till it gets warmer. Its good to know they are ok so far.