Post Mortem

9 Sep

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I took the top half box (aka the mistake box) off the hive today and scraped all the comb out of it. It’s sad and empty, but so beautiful. I love the way the natural comb just goes where it will, but there’s no wasted space. I’m going to save a few big chunks for future need and melt down the rest.

It looks like, and someone correct me if I’m wrong, there is at least one queen cup in there.

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So maybe they swarmed and then the new queen failed?

There are still a few bees wandering around the hive…like 30 or so workers and about 5 drones…I don’t know if they’re mine or not. I figured I’d leave the other full box on for just a few more days so it’s totally robbed out and then wrap it up and stick it in the freezer until next year.

It’s a sad state of affairs, but I feel like I’ve made peace with it and am ready to start with two hives next year, so that I can more readily diagnose issues and take care of them sooner and not have this happen again.

Sigh.

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5 Responses to “Post Mortem”

  1. charltonestatetrust September 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Sudden colony collapse?

    • circlephoto September 9, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      It wasn’t all that sudden. They never really built up the way they should have – I think I might have had a dud queen and just been too much of a newbie to really know. The guy I got my bees from tells me that the fact they’d only built out one box in 3 months with plenty of forage should have been an indication to me and that I should have requeened in July. By the time I talked to him (first week in August) he said it was too late to fix it and to start over next year with two hives so that I can compare and have the option to combine if one is faltering.

  2. kfricker September 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    Very sorry to hear about your bees. No sudden collapse. Maybe too much room to start out (from what I have read they need to fill that first box up before nadir). Also Warre advised a large package due to the size of the hive, 1.5 packages per hive if I recall. When I find the great video I saw of this type of install I’ll post it in your comments section. The guy got two with queens and one without to get enough bees in the hive. He was a Warre pro. Best wishes, Keith

  3. kfricker September 19, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    http://www.thewarrestore.com/apps/videos/
    Here is the link. Bee nerdy but the man seems to know his bees. BOL.

    • Kelly G. January 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      I love bee nerds! Thanks for all the info!

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