The Hive That Couldn’t

I checked my aunts bees on Friday, and they hardly weigh anything. I don’t know what the issue was, because there were capped worker cells in the top box, and they had plenty of time and resources to expand properly. They never even moved down into the third box. My aunt was excited about getting some honey, but they didn’t even have enough honey for themselves. She’ll feed them this winter and hope they make it through. I would be truly amazed if they did. I just don’t understand why they never tried to requeen themselves or anything. Maybe they were being robbed all summer? There are plenty of flowers in the area, and there are dozens of different species of bees in my aunts garden alone. There wasn’t any sign of mites, and I checked the floor for them specifically. The hive was clean, the bees were active, there just wasn’t much in the way of honey or pollen. There were even empty frames in the top box!

Several of the bees in the colony had bright red/purple patches on their “skin”, and I think they must have some genetics from that strain that creates purple bees. What’s it called? “Midnight” or something? I dunno, but they were pretty. There were also some very brown bees in the mix. Almost almond colored.

Meanwhile my bees have been coming and going by the thousands, and should have plenty of food to make it through the winter. If they don’t make it through the winter then I think I’ll just stay bee-less next year because I’ll be away at school all summer and won’t have time to go up north to manage them.

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5 responses to “The Hive That Couldn’t”

  1. Emily Scott says :

    Sorry to hear this 😦 I’ve never heard of bright red/purple honeybees before, they sound fascinating!

    • willowbatel says :

      They’re really pretty! Its only 1 or 2 bees in every several thousand, but they’re very cool looking. I told my aunt I thought they might be related to that “midnight” strain or whatever it was called that was bred in America a decade or so ago.

  2. Emma Sarah Tennant says :

    You’ve done fantastically with your bees the past few years that a short break won’t matter too much to concentrate on school. I’m sure you’ll get bees again after that. I wonder what caused the red/purple patches on the bees, perhaps a type of flower’s pollen had stained them during foraging?

  3. Talking With Bees says :

    Do you have any problems with the Small Hive Beetle?

    I have written a couple of pages over Christmas on the Hive Beetle and the Asian Hornet.

    • willowbatel says :

      No, i’ve never even seen a hive beetle in person to be honest. I occasionally have varroa and i’ve had wax moths a couple of times, but the moths only get into the wax i have sitting out where it shouldn’t be, and never into the colony.
      i’ll have to read those when i get a chance. this year has really flown by!

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