March is the beginning of the beekeeping year. Many hives do not survive through this time of year. What happens? Bees need to start raising new bees while the weather is still mostly winter so that they can be ready to get to work when the weather turns nice. If something happened to the queen over the winter, the bees will not be able to raise new bees. Sometimes bees run out of food this time of year. Extended cold can keep bees in the hive and they will starve. This is a touchy time of year and one that makes the beekeeper feel anxious. The hive in the middle above died about 2 weeks after this picture was taken. It ran out food during an extended cold rainy period. We are feeding the hives drivert (bakers) sugar but did not get to this hive in time to save it. There were lots of bees and some brood (baby bees). It makes us sad to loose a beehive.
At the end of March, we will split our beehives adding a new queen to the half without a queen. This is how we make up for our winter losses.