The Blue Queen is Dead! So Long and Thanks for all the Honey!

March 6, 2011 at 2:34 am Leave a comment

 

Today it was 60F outside – Spring is coming!  We spent most of it outside putting in a path through our woods whilst the undergrowth is less rampant.  

The big news of today however, was that we decided to do something about the hive full of dead bees that we have been mourning for the last couple of months.  We started beekeeping last Spring (I’m not sure now that we are “keeping” as much as vacationing the bees – with a final deadly trip), and everything was looking good (with exception that the colony had Varroa mites – but apparently that is pretty normal) and they had plenty of honey to get through the winter.  Unfortunately though, it seems they starved to death anyhow, because of the prolonged cold weather. They need a break in the temperatures to be able to move upward to get to the stored honey – ours were still in a huddle at the bottom of the hive still.  Sad but true. 

Anyhow the light at the end of our tunnel (not theirs) is that we get to harvest the honey that was supposed to feed them through the winter!  So far, just from one deep frame we got 3lbs and there is a lot more where that came from!  We just need to do a lot of sticky work to extract it and then work out how to store the honey frames between now and when the new package arrives in April (bees are the best cleaners for this kind of situation – live ones are more effective though).  (More research needed – or perhaps the purchase of a chest freezer may need to happen sooner rather than later!)

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Entry filed under: Adventures in Beekeeping, March 2011. Tags: , , .

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