From the Hive – March 13, 2019

Strange weather around the U.S. for the honey bee this month! We here in Kansas are hosting a “land hurricane” today. Winds above 60 mph are expected. With all of the rain yesterday and more expected tonight, I am not sure how much more water our apiary will see with the overflow our puddle pond. As you can see by the pic, one of our hives is sitting in a precarious position. This was one of the young, smaller hives last spring and I had set it a distance away from some of the more powerful hives.

We have gone from warm to cold, warm to cold, warm to extreme cold, and now it is warming back up. It has played a bit of havoc on the hives. So far this quarter, I have lost three hives. One hive was a rob-out. One hive had frames of dead nurse bees covering areas of almost ready-to-hatch bees. Queen Bee must have thought spring was here during the warmer weather spell. The hive broke cluster, the queen laid eggs, nurse bees covered the eggs, and then an overnight freeze happened. Result – frozen, dead bees. The third hive was found to have bee bodies headfirst in cells, and either froze or starved themselves by not moving over to full frames of honey, or, of course, they could have succumbed to the dreaded pest, although I didn’t see signs of pests being a problem.

I am looking forward to the first day of spring in a week. While it might still be cold and fraught with crazy Kansas weather, at least I know that warm weather will appear at some point. Looking forward to flipping the hive boxes and hatching season to start as I’m sure the honey bees are also.

I hope this finds you and your hives happy and healthy! Until next time, keep buzzing!