- Jul 30, 2019
- Reaction score
- Titterstone clee South Shropshire
- Hive Type
A sad post Philip but also a happy one.Hefted, looked through the crownboards, lots of bees flying as it was a balmy 10 degrees and sunny down here on the Costa del Fareham.
Cracked the crownboard on the one colony I was worried about .. no heat coming up and no activity that I could see. It was a dead out .. small pile of bees on the floor, two full frames of stores at the back of the hive but not much at the front but no signs of bees with their heads in cells. No sign of the marked queen among the bodies and no sign of disease .. they tested low for varroa in September and they were fed athough they took less invert down than the other colonies. No sign of any brood although there was a frame of mostly pollen in there. No signs of Nosema but I've kept a sample of the dead bees and I will test tomorrow. Sad ... perhaps I should have looked in earlier moved the stores towards the front or added fondant. Having said that I suspect it's a case of a failing queen ... she was a Buckfast going into her third season so may have just run out of steam when there was a need for her to lay up winter bees. It looked fine going into Autumn but not as strong as my other colonies. No waxmoth in there. Who knows ? Cleaned the floor, removed the bodies and sealed it up. I'll give the frames a blast of Dipel tomorrow if there's no nosema in there and look to replace in spring.
Cracked the crown board of an 8 frame poly nuc I'm overwintering and pulled an empty frame out and replaced it with a full frame of stores, took seconds and I just slid the crown board across to access the end frame .. they came up to see me but soon went back down, no smoke needed (not that I had the smoker going anyway !) .. plenty of bees in there and quite active. Enough stores now for a couple of weeks but I might put a container of fondant on them.
Rest of the hives all heavy and I could see good numbers of bees through the clear crownboards. Left them all to it.
NIce to be playing with them again even if only for precautionary reasons ... roll on spring.
Spring is only around the corner.
My thoughts my friend