It’s confirmed: We have one dead hive. Dead bees everywhere. But there weren’t as many as I would have thought…I just don’t think this colony was ever very robust.
The temperature today is in the high 40s or low 50s, but it’s been raining all the danged day. So Deb and I headed out in the rain to open the hives anyway because later in the week the temperatures will drop back into the 20s, and it’s hazardous to the bees to open their home in that kind of cold. They don’t love getting visited on a rainy day, either, but it seemed the smartest choice. After digging around in that quiet, dead hive, it was such a happy happy sight to lift the lid of the swarm-hive box and see and hear thousand of bees buzzing. I felt great relief.
Then we placed a piece of parchment paper on top of the frames (and on top the bees that were hanging out there…I hope we didn’t kill any of them!); on the parchment paper we poured about 1/2 pound of granulate sugar for them to munch on in the next weeks. We quickly closed things up before we got everyone all riled, and I hauled all the hive parts belonging to the dead back into the basement where I’ll clean it all up before starting again in the spring.