Sunday, February 8, 2009

No Bees

I took no pictures of the carnage. Both hives are dead. I'll try to figure out why, but there was plenty of feed and the bees were all over it. They may just have gotten too cold - I don't know. It has been a couple years since I successfully over-wintered. I have to keep reminding myself I have pulled this off many times, but I am so discouraged about the last two years of failure because it has gotten so expensive to replace them, and I don't like the genetics of what has been available, either.

It is possible that the beeyard is too exposed to winter winds. I tried to build a windbreak, but the space is too small to stack protective empty boxes on all sides. I have located a scofflaw in St. Paul who may be willing to host this next year, but would really like something closer to where I live in Minneapolis. My most successful year, in terms of harvest and overwintering was the year I did just what they say not to do - spent a lot of time interfering. I was in the hives every 4 days for months, carving out burr comb, scraping frames, checking brood. I miss those days of standing amidst thousands of bees, flowing slowly like a Tai Chi master, listening to bird song and watching the bees.

This spring I'll devote some time to cleaning and fixing equipment, and maybe order bees from someplace less likely to involve scutellata genetics.


twinsetellen said...

Heartache. For you and with you.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Kathy, I'm sorry to hear about your bees. I saw my neighbor yesterday and he said one of his hives died too. I hope this next year is a better one for your bees.