Thursday

Bees Are No More

     My second package of bees this year didn't make it either. *sigh* (again).  They gave it a good try.  I thought that maybe putting the packages into the hive on two of the coldest, rainiest (that's a word is according to spell check :-) stretches of weather (two different times!), was the problem.  According to an experienced beekeeper here in Northeast Wisconsin, probably not.  He thinks it is more likely that the bees came from California before the queen was bred.   When there is no brood being layed right away we are already behind.  It was either that, or my queen died soon after I put them in.  I never could find the queen when I would check on them,  but I have an inexperienced eye.
     This second package at least started to get some comb made, but then I noticed there was no brood,  and very few bees.  Thinking all was already lost, I didn't check them for two weeks.  When I did check there was a queen cell!  A spark of hope....and then two days later there were about 2 bees.  I'm not the only one that lost bees.  Lots of beekeepers around the area did.



There were 3 combs this size on 3 different top bars.

      So, I will be taking everything I learned this year, soaking up all the reading on bees that I can this winter, and trying again next year.   I think I'll try a regular hive and this top bar hive again next year, just to compare.

.....dr momi

8 comments:

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I know nothing about beekeeping but admire those like you who take on the challenge and want to keep trying; we really need them and YOU! But I know even the most experienced of beekeepers are having problems, so I'm sure that next year will be even better for you!

texwisgirl said...

i can only imagine this is a science that can be very frustrating at times...

Lisa said...

That's too bad. We lost two hives this spring but still have three (and thankfully going strong!).
We get our bees out of Stillwater, MN and the gentleman has a blog I find quite interesting. http://naturesnectar.blogspot.com/

Candy C. said...

That's a shame, hopefully you will have success next year!

Dr. Momi said...

Thanks for all the "good wishes" for next year everyone.

Lisa, I will check outthat blog.

Mama Pea said...

Beekeeping these days is a challenge to say the least. We do pretty well with ours during the summer months but it's the long, cold winters that get us often. Went into winter last year with five hives, lost three. Now we've got them built back up to five again. We've become convinced we have to construct some kind of shelter for them in the winter to help them through.

Wishing you the best of luck with your bees.

Leigh said...

Aw shucks. Bees are on my list of future projects so I'm always interested in how other new bee keepers are doing. Seems to be a real challenge no matter where one lives. I'll be very interested in your top bar versus regular hives. I asked some beekeepers around here about the top bars, but they weren't too impressed, mostly because they have a terrible problem with beetles infesting the hives. Seems like bees are succumbing to more and more problems these days, doesn't it?

Dr. Momi said...

Mama Pea.....I hope you future post on what you are doing with your bees. I'm thinking there has to be some kind of shelter too.---especially with the top bar hive.

Leigh.....none of the beekeepers around here were too impressed with the top bar hive either, mostly because the bees have to make their own comb and the season is so short here. I'll find out next year which way I want to go :-)