The hive on the left is a combination of two weak hives. We piled the one hive on the other with newspaper between. It must have been too late because both hives died. There was plenty of honey. The top box must have weighed 30 pounds or more. The hive on the right is a new hive placed in April. It is doing very well on this first really nice day of the year. The spring has been cold, cold, cold and wet, wet, dreary wet. We are on a swarm list (Puget Sound Beekeepers’ Association) and anticipating calls and maybe some excitement!
Elegy for a dead hive. We had such great hopes for this year but we are down to one surviving hive out of 19 that went into the winter. We did order 18 new boxes of bees which, despite the cold spring, seem to be doing very well. We cleaned most of the equipment that contained the dead hives with the idea that the causative organism for the bee deaths might still be in the hives. We also cleaned out a whole lot of stored honey which at this point is just waste and will go down the drain. I know that we are throwing away potential resources but there is some evidence that bees housed in dead-outs have a high mortality.
Our experiment this summer is placing bees in all new hives and in hives that have been pressure washed and bleached. So far there is no noticeable difference.