Archive | March 2017

Winter losses

Brief inspections so far this spring of my bees. One colony at my out apiary is dead – looks like varroa was the culprit despite the colony being treated. Maybe the usual quantity of apiguard is not enough for a large double brood colony. If the bees remove it promptly then maybe there’s not enough to go around and kill the majority of varroa? Another large colony was similarly affected by varroa. However as that colony was in view, I noticed the decline in flying bees and dealt with it last autumn. This colony is OK but small. It shows that having the opportunity to look at the hive entrance can be of use.  The only other non-viable colony is one with a 3 year old queen that has failed to lay anything other than a small patch of eggs this spring. She had done brilliantly before and was removed by me during supercedure last autumn – so the bees would have dealt with her if I had not ‘rescued’ her. As it is, I can unite her colony with the small one just mentioned. Disappointed to lose one colony but not all will survive, I guess.