Thursday, April 16, 2015

The great bee war of 2015

Since I was due to be inspected by the state for my initial beekeeper registration process, they bumped me up the list so the inspector could take a look at the dying bees problem and help determine a cause.

And he did come up with a cause and not one that I would have thought possible.  The new swarm I brought in last week decided it wanted some of the honey that the strong hive next to it possessed.  And then the robbing began.  Robbing is a term beekeepers use as bees will often raid weaker colonies to rob honey if their need is great.  The dead bees in front of my strong hive were the bodies of the raiding party who didn't succeed in their plan.  The entire new swarm is dead and their hive is empty. 

Lesson learned:  After catching a new swarm, feed the bees with sugar water until they get some comb established.  I didn't feed them since there was so much blooming and the abundance of pollen and nectar. 

The state inspector taught me a lot and it was pleasure having him inspect my hives and sharing his bee wisdom. 

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