You may have noticed in my twitter feed that my latest check of my 4 hives has yielded some sad news- 2 hives dead, 1 has a laying worker. The remaining hive is well, but is the one I started fresh from a package of bees. (the Marine Drive hive). So, none of the hives from last year have lived…despite making it through the winter. My celebration of getting hives through the winter was short lived.
I’m still assessing the cause of the hive deaths: The 2 dead hives, on queen ann, still had some (small amounts) of honey in them along with some random bees, which were there to rob it (I perceive). There was No big cluster of bees dead inside and no evidence of a swarm cell. What I saw: Some honey, Some capped brood (dead) , robbers present (bumble bees, random honey bees (from nearby active hive).
Some possible causes, which I need to assess further/get advice:
- new queens I introduced in April Failed- not sure how to discern if this was the failpoint- need to ask mentors
- Starvation (there was evidence of bees w/ butts in air in search of food so this is a contributor, no doubt)
- Pesticides (I put this on the list because of no big cluster of bees in hive- despite big population in April)
If you have ideas, feel free to comment.