Beemused: A Blog

Mary is no more :-(

13th February 2009

Mary is no more :-(

With the recent warm spell we’ve seen some activity around the hives, mostly cleansing flights we assume.  We were concerned, though, that while we saw a fair number of bees around Elizabeth and Susan, we didn’t see them near Mary.  So, I took a look under the hood and sadly Mary has died. There were a number of dead bees evident, a very small cluster in the upper chamber, and none visible in the lower chamber.  It didn’t have quite the look of Colony Collapse Disorder, but I didn’t have time to take more than a quick look before work, so I’ll do a more thorough examination over the weekend, weather permitting.  Stores were ample, which suggests that the hive died a while back (over-wintering is the scariest part of beekeeping for me).Now we have to decide whether to order package bees (southern), try to find another local beekeeper with a nuc later in the season, or split one of our remaining hives.  We’ve been wanting to re-queen with some cold-hardy local queens, and now might be the time to try it.It’s sad, especially since Mary was our best hive - the best producer, most mellow, most vigorous.   –Justin 

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