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I'm back....with 2 new colonies


#1

Hi Everyone…

I’ve been gone from the forums for the last 6-8 months or so…recovering emotionally from what ended up being a devastating fall for my 2 colonies. Everything was going so very well, until it wasn’t. Mites were very low, hives were thriving and productive, then all of a sudden the yellow jacket robbing ramped up (despite all efforts to help the hives protect), and it turned out that was just a symptom that something had gone terribly wrong.

My mentor visited, but she could not ascertain what the underlying problem was and we ultimately gave it a generic “CCD” diagnosis. Long story short, a few days after inspection, we closed up the weakest hive in the late afternoon, then opened them after dark to 1) get the robbers to leave and 2) allow the bees that belonged there to come home. When I opened up in the morning - THERE WERE NO BEES to speak of - a couple dozen live bees, and about 50-100 dead on the bottom board. The same fate befell the second, stronger hive, and soon I was out of the “beekeeping business”.

I harvested a couple of frames of honey, but put everything else in the deep freeze for 4-7 days in the hope that I would be able to reuse some of the frames for new colonies this spring. And I have - I installed 2 nucs on Saturday, with a combination of the nuc-supplied frames, 2 honey frames, and an empty brood frame. The nucs seemed in good shape - one of them had a completely empty frame, but the other was nearly full up. Neither showed any signs of swarm cells - that this newbie could tell, anyway.

I’m feeding sugar water, and the bees are bringing in plenty of pollen. There is a good chance that at least one of the colonies may be ready for a second brood box by the weekend since I was able to start them out with fully-drawn frames on their first day.

Hoping that things go better this year!


#2

Welcome back! Rooting for you. The first year is the hardest, in my humble opinion. :blush:


#3

Thank you…and thanks for all of your continued advice on this forum over the winter. I’ve been reading lots, and especially valued your advice on how to reuse drawn comb. Very informative, and I think it really will give the girls a good head start.


#4

Thank you @mbeeee. I can’t tell you how much your feedback means to me. :blush:


#5

Hi @mbeeee. Great to see you back. Bummer about your last bee season, I would be so devastated. Worst is that you aren’t sure what caused the demise.
Wishing you all the best this time and for your bees’ future.


#6

Good to see you back @mbeeee Mary Beth! So sorry about your losses. Similar thing happened to my single hive, in December. I also started again with two nucs this time, and was so happy to be able to give them both three more nearly full frames of comb & some stores to make both boxes nice and full from the get-go. Silver linings :rainbow:

Best of luck to you this year!


#7

Greetings n Welcome back,

Yaaaah lossing your bees can take the wind out of your sails alright. I lost three big healthy hives n one weak one to those nasty critter mites. Hate those buggers ! But the loss is history. Now pulling up my boot straps n marching again. I was lucky and did winter over my flow-hive n one smaller 5 frame Nuc.

I had ordered four new Nuc’s … So replaced my losses n now I’ve completed a spring split n also made another 5 frame Nuc so i have resources to replace my own die-outs but studying my data n procedures to really lower my mite/hive losses.

Good luck n keep on keeping on !

Gerald


#8

I’m sure it will be better this time round! Good luck and keep us updated!