Because we’d been having near freezing temps lately, the temperature of 60 degrees F was such a treat recently. We were out in the front yard garden pruning, weeding, and planning our spring garden. Of course I had to check in on the bees and see how they were enjoying the weather…
Hive 2 was doing great. There was much activity around the entrance and I even spotted some pollen going into the hive which is a good indication there were babies inside. We knew that Hive 2 would make it through the winter as they had 5 frames of closed brood, still many drones, and lots of honey when we closed up the hive.
Hive 3 was a different story, though. When we did our last inspection before closing up the hive. there was a noticeable lack of brood–less than a frame’s worth. We tried to find the queen to reassure ourselves that she was there, but could not find her. Worried, I contacted our teacher, Serge Labeque, and he suggested that we set up their winter hive as a nuc box. Using follwer boards (FB), the frame of brood (B), the frames of nectar/pollen (NP), and honey (H), we set it up in a deep hive box like this:
FB H NP B NP H FB
Of course, we had put a box of honey right above for the bees for the bees to feed on during the winter.
When we saw that Hive 3 had no activity, compared to Hive 2, during the warmer days before Christmas, we knew something was amiss. Last year, when Hive 1 died, we had denied it thinking they were clustered inside; they were just cold. I had no such illusions this year. When I took the picture above, the eerie silence of Hive 3 in the background, contrasted mightily with Hive 2.
Always live and learn, yes? How are your hives doing? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. Thanks.