Sunday, November 2, 2008

Winterizing Bee Hives....Bad News


Yesterday we opened our hives for one last check before Winter winds start to howl. Our goal was to check the health of the hives, supply some extra sugary syrup if honey supplies were low, and then wrap each in warm black paper blanket to help insulate them.


We checked three out of five hives and were saddened to find no evidence of Queen, or brood (babies) or even drones. This is an especially bad sign, for if there is no brood to replace the aging workers, the hive will eventually die. We are hopeful that we may have missed a pocket of young somewhere within the hive, but it is doubtful. We wrapped each for the Winter in hopes that we are wrong and they survive til Spring. Most likely we will have to start over in the Spring with new hives, new bees and new Queens. It is a mystery why this is happening....but we will not quit. We are committed to doing what we can to preserve this creature that so much of life is dependant upon.

9 comments:

  1. I am so sorry about your bees - I hope you missed the queen and that spring will find brand new babies in the hive.

    Terri

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  2. why do you need new hives?
    beekeeping is such a mystery to me - I would have thought new bees in a cleaned out hive would have worked fine

    how very sad that the hive may be completely gone :(

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  3. Most of our hives originally came from a beekeeper who was retiring. My fear is that perhaps the hive has a disease that may be resposible for the death of the bees.

    I feel like a new colony of bees might have a better chance with a whole new hive(s).

    We just do not know why honeybees are so very fragile right now. I want to optimize the chances of success.

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  4. Oh Bev, poor bees! That is a sad site to see, I am sure! Hope spring brings good news!

    Hugs,
    Maryjane

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  5. Hello Beverly, Very unfortunate about your bees. Things have been tough lately for the little guys. I love them and have written about bees here in Toronto. There are 3 hives on top of the Royal York Hotel. Drop by to see the post when you have a moment.

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  6. so very sorry to hear about the hive.
    sometimes the bees need a bit of supplement when the weather gets cold in colder areas.
    (that's what I have read anyhow..that some folks have to actually feed the bees in the winter months to keep the hive alive when the flowers have faded out)

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  7. Maybe the queen is on vacation and she'll be back - you know how queens can just fly off at a moments provacation - I'm hoping the other two hives are well and these three bounce back!
    I'd like bees at ThistleDew but I know it takes some work and I'm not quite ready to commit.

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  8. Oh what terrible news about the hives. I sooo hope they survive the winter and that there are some young hiding in there somewhere.

    Your pony pictures are lovely, and moonbeam is a yummy boy. I'm very tempted by halflingers, but Merlin wouldn't have any of it!

    Kim x

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  9. Hey Bev,
    Yes, I think new hives are in your future..so sad this is happening. I've read a few articles about the bees abandoning hives but I'm not educated enough or even remember why they think it is happening. We definitely need to save the bees and figure out what is causing these things to happen. Our food supply depends on them.

    You have a good week and drop by for a visit.

    Hugs, Steph
    Queen of Dreamsz

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