I went into winter with two of the strongest hives I've ever had. Tens of thousands of bees in each, one hive stacked two high and one stacked three high - all loaded to the gills with honey. The bees had plenty of numbers and plenty of food.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, winters aren't nearly as cold as they are in other parts of the country, but rain is constant throughout the season, making condensation a real problem inside beehives.
This late in September, while there is a nectar dearth shaping up in the Pacific Northwest, I have put out an open feeder for my bees. It's working out really well, so I thought I would share this with you.
In this video, Jim shows a swarm that originated from one of his beehives. He shows evidence to explain why the bees swarmed and also shows the capture and re-hiving process.
During my hive inspection yesterday, I pulled out the plywood beneath the screened bottom board on Hive A and saw ... a whole bunch of varrao mites! Some alive, most dead. How could this be? I hived the package only three weeks ago.
Here is a short time lapse video showing the installation of two packages into our honeybee hives. This is not intended as a tutorial, just a "bird's eye view" for someone wondering what the process looks like start to finish. :)
Saturday, April 22, 2017, I hived two packages of Italian bees from Stedman's Bee Supplies in Silverdale, Washington. This will be my second season as a beekeeper.
I lost a hive last year and it was a crushing loss. I was doing everything right - so far as I know, but then there was a slow die-off. Something happened to my queen and the bees couldn't replace her in time.
My first year as a beekeeper didn't wind down to a productive, fulfilling end as I had hoped - and even come to expect along the way.
Rather, it came to an abrupt, tragic end a couple of weeks ago when I noticed no activity at the hive.