The past 9 weeks have been stressful with hubby’s issues, many, many appointments, and responsibilities. We had a stretch of very cold weather, then a return to spring. This afternoon, I finally set out to add 2:1 syrup and put the newly purchased, assembled, and painted sugar block trays in place. Everything needed was loaded into the back of one of the cars and driven down the field to the bee yard.
Once there, a notable lack of bees moving about caused some alarm, but determined to see what was what, the suit was donned, the smoker prepped if needed and the cover of the first, formerly strongest hive was removed. There was no life at all in the hive. Upon disassembling it tier by tier, this was what was on the bottom board.
Moving on to the second hive, it was a repeat of the first and when I reached the third hive, one that had been weak and was combined with another hive and given a new queen, it had life, not as strong as I would have liked, but alive. The hive was broken down far enough for me to place a sugar brick tray right on top of the queen excluder, all of the honey I could get from the first two hives added to the honey super for this hive and it placed back on, and three quarts of 2:1 syrup added to an empty medium box, and the hive closed back up. All of the parts from the other two hives were brought back to the house and I am going to have to get some large bags to load the frames into and put in the freezer for long enough to kill off anything that shouldn’t be in them, but it will take several loads to accomplish as our chest freezer is very large. Once they have all been frozen and bagged for storage, the freezer needs to be defrosted.
The sole remaining hive. Son 2 entrusted me to this project and I failed hugely. I hope the hives he has at home are doing better and more knowledge on my part can be gained to try again come spring perhaps.