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Archive for April, 2011

Spring!

Well…I’ve been very re-miss about blogging regarding my bees and I figure with Spring already here I’ll just get right back to it. The good news – I’ve still got two hives from last year. The “not-so-good” news – I suspect one of them is either swarm from the other or it’s a swarm from someone else’s hive that took over. I’ve got two hives – for simplicity sake let’s call them “A” and “B”; when you’re looking at the hives from the front “A” is on the left, “B” is on the right. During the early spring this year I noticed activity in “A” but no activity in “B”. I even went so far as to open up “B” and look inside (although not very deeply as I didn’t want to risk breaking up any cluster that might be in there). I couldn’t hear any buzzing and assumed that “B” had died – possibly starvation – possibly the cluster broke up during a warm spell and then didn’t reform fast enough or big enough when the next cold snap came.

However, over the past week and a half I’ve been seeing a fair amount of activity in that hive. Today I opened it up and confirmed that yes, there are bees in there and they seem to be living there (as they’re starting to store food) but the number of bees is very small relative to colony “A”. So, I can only surmise that either they got a late start on the year or that the original colony didn’t make it through the winter. If they got a late start that could explain the low numbers. Alternatively these are either bees from hive “A” who took over hive “B” when they found it empty (not very likely as it would indicate that hive “A” swarmed pretty early on) or a swarm from a nearby beekeeper’s colonies found the hive, found it empty and said “Hey…it’s in move-in condition!” Either way I’ve got two hives! And I’m ecstatic about that!

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