Trouble at the Hive Part 2 – Colony Disappeared

Here’s the following from the blog post below where we saw chewed up wax pieces at the entrance of the hive. This afternoon it warmed up well into the high 60s or low 70s so we had a chance to inspect this hive as we knew something was not right.

This hive used to be super strong, a swarm from the Farley-Elsie colony that was hived on June 15, 2011. The swarm was so large that it required two mediums to house the bees. A third box was added July 24th and from today’s inspection it was only half way drawn but had capped honey in most of those drawn frames.

We removed the top box, then looked into the middle medium noticing almost no bees but it was heavy so we set that one aside as we wanted to see what was in the bottom box. Bottom box had some bees but I’m not even sure if those were robber bees or the bees that remained after the entire colony absconded, swarmed, or fell victim to colony collapse disorder (CCD). No dead bees on the bottom board nor pests (SHB or wax moth).

Upon inspection we found in the brood chamber capped brood but obviously dead from no nurse bees attending to them or keeping them warm. So something must have happened where I believe the entire colony absconded. Perhaps robbing from bees or yellowjackets.

We harvested a little more than 25 pounds of honey from this hive. Really nice darker colored honey and tasted excellent. A very nice aroma and flavor to this dark honey.

The honeybees and yellowjackets feasting on the mess we created. And below it’s a huge feeding freezing as we put the frames out for the bees to clean up after cutting out the honey combs. It’s always chaotic when you do this and there is always fighting but after a few hours your frames will be bone dry.

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