The month of December continues to be freezing cold and it really hurts the colonies that are low in population or weak from whatever reason. We have been watching a few of our strong hives these past few months and they went from strong to almost no entrance activity. So today we opened them up.
Kathy Hive – We rescued this colony kind of late from a water control valve well. The population was decent and we had to house them in two mediums and they were growing but perhaps the stress got to them or something and just died out.
Cupertino Hive – This was the first bee colony we rescued in 2011. It was an early February bee removal and they expanded exponentially, coming into Summer with 5 mediums filled with honey, bees, brood, and all. This hive also swarmed at least once. They were strong, perhaps too strong coming into Fall and could have had a bad mite infestation that took a toll on the bees. There were still a few dozen bees left, A LOT of honey, perhaps 50 plus pounds, and dead brood. We removed all the boxes to inspect and found the queen dead on the bottom board.
Moon Hive – This was the mean colony that I kept to see if they would calm down. They were great to work with after a few puffs of smoke and were strong and grew fast. Opened them up today and found no bees, just a ton of ants in and around the hive. They left about 2 mediums full of honey.
With a total of 10 hives remaining, 8 of those are strong while 2 are slowly dropping off. If this month continues to be in the freezing temps and the storms roll in, those two I really don’t think will make it but of course we always do our best to assist and give them a chance.