Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Well, some sad news - the little white nucleus that I made didn't make it.
I haven't seen any bees flying in and out for a couple of days. Each week I checked it, there were fewer and fewer bees; and last Saturday I didn't see a queen. No queen = certain death.
Yesterday I went out and opened it up, and all the bees were dead in the bottom of the nuc. Additionally, about 20 large black ants scattered like ... well, ants. I had seen the ants over the past couple of weeks, and knew that didn't forebode well. A healthy hive has no problems keeping out ants and other interlopers.
When I took the hive apart, I saw a few bees dead on the comb frame. A couple had their heads in the comb, a few were head-out (which meant they died trying to be born). There were a lot of drone cells which didn't "hatch" (probably didn't keep warm enough with no nurse bees around). When I pulled a couple of them open, I saw a couple of mites; so that tells me that I'm going to have to treat for mites. The frame which had honey/syrup on it was also bone dry - either the ants or other bees stole that. So I'm going to have to watch for ants and my other hive.
So now I have an empty spot on my hive stand; a newly painted hive in the garage (thanks to help from my boys); and no nuc to put into the hive. What to do, what to do...
I called up Janina (who helped me a couple of weeks ago) and told her I was in need of a nuc! She's going to make me one (actually the bees will do the making) and in a couple of weeks, I'll have new tenants! This is kind of late in the season, but if I feed feed feed, the hive will probably be strong enough to get through the winter.