Monday, March 27, 2017

A sad day....

Spring is here!
The sun is shining and the thermometer is pointing at 19C in the shade.
The air is filled with birdsong and calls. Flights of geese, swans and cranes pass overhead all the time and in the garden the snowdrops and crocus are blooming. Virtually no snow or ice remains in our garden.
However it is a sad day. The one thing(s) that I really was hoping to see, did not emerge. No bees....
So I opened the hives and both were stone dead. The probably cause is famine. There simply was not enough food for them last year to gather enough and build a strong hive. I tried to help them by feeding them sugar water, but they would not take that very well.
Checking hive 1, the weakest of the two, I found that many bees were stuck inside the cells trying to get the last food and died there. The main clusters were covered with mould, so I think they died some time ago. There were thick clumps of dead bees beneath these and these were decaying pretty bad already too. When I brushed off the dead bees from the wax there too many bees were stuck inside the cells. They had only built 2 combs, but not filled them, so this was really a very weak hive.
One I sort of expected to not make it, but both? That is a blow....
So I checked hive 2 as well. Same scenario, but with a difference; there was one comb still filled with capped honey!?? And they had been expanding pretty well, building 4 new combs too.

Be that as it may, it is back to square one again. Well, not entirely. We already have the hives and the gear.
Just no bees.....


This is the capped honey left in hive 2.
There is a similar patch on the other side too!
Plus a lot of uncapped honey....

The combs in hive 2.
They have been building after we transferred them, but then it seems they just stopped.
Nothing's filled or used....

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