I’m brushing away the dust on this sorely neglected blog to bring you a brief update on the bees.
If you’ve been following the blog you know that last year was not a good year for our bees. The weather was cold and rainy and most of the hives were weak, even without us harvesting any honey, they had a hard time. A few weeks ago the weather started to warm up enough that the bees could leave the hive during the warmest part of the day. Going into the winter we had 4 hives, all still using the traditional German style hives (still no established Warre’ hives unfortunately).
It became obvious during those first few warm days that at least one of our hives was dead, it was silent as a tomb, while the others were all active. Peer opened the hive and sure enough, there was nothing but a big mount of dead bees laying at the bottom. The other hives quickly discovered that this hive was not being defended and they began to raid it taking anything and everything that would be of use to them. Robbing other hives is not something to be encouraged, but we let them do it mainly because they still have a while to go before they will have a reliable food source, nothing is blooming yet. We’re hoping that with what they gathered from the dead hive, they’ll make it through the rest of the winter.
This year we’ll try again to establish some Warre hives and strengthen the ones we have. More soon!