A blog originally for keeping track of my hobby of being a Beekeeper which has evolved to include Home Brewing and even more recently to follow me and my families approach to "The Good Life". Eventually I hope to include baking recipes and stories of our flock of chickens also reporting on the success and failure at the allotments.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Post I Hoped Never to Write

I will start off by saying this is my first post in a while. I haven't been all that well but it's more about laziness than anything else. Anyway I'm better now but unfortunately I don't have brilliant news to share.

Yesterday was this months Beekeeping meeting and one of the things they touched upon was the threat of starvation (the main topic was something else but I'll do a separate post for that). After work today I went straight round to the Bees to see if they were fine and add some more fondant if needed. Upon approach of the hives I didn't expect to see any Bees out and about but this is to be expected due to the snow we've had recently. Upon opening the hive I was met with the worst possible sight a Beekeeper can see; a hive full of dead Bees. I was gutted and knowing this was my stronger colony I was dreading what I'd find in the next one.

When I opened the second hive my worst fears were met with the sight of a second box full of dead Bees. The worst thing about it was that it was clear that starvation had killed them due to the amount of them that were fully in the cells, as If trying to get the last drop of food, however the Bees in both colonies had plenty of fondant and one hive even had a small amount of sealed honey.

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Frame with stores; unfortunately they were clustered at other end of hive


The problem, I think, is that they haven't been able to find the food and this is due to the cold weather. When it gets cold the Bees form a very tight cluster to conserve energy but in this cluster it is hard for them to move. With the frames with food in them at the other side of the hive to the cluster it was impossible for them to get to it. The bad luck part, for me, is that it had happened to both my colonies which does technically now mean I am no longer a Beekeeper.

I have already started inquiring into replacing them but starting again is so depressing, not to mention financially taxing! With any luck I'll be able to either catch a swarm or maybe purchase a small nucleus hive from someone and start building back up from there. Either way this won't be the last of my adventures in Beekeeping and I'm sure there'll be more set backs but I plan on learning from this and hopefully it won't happen again!


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Hive floor covered in dead Bees. There were a lot more but I've already cleared loads.