The world may be on the brink of biological disaster after news that a third
of US bee colonies did not survive the winter.
Alison Benjamin The Observer, Sunday 2 May 2010
Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe
Victoria was the hive that ran out of honey stores last winter (this despite having been given extra frames of stores filched from Susan).Â We’d been planning on repopulating her with a local nuc, or a least a local queen.
Meanwhile, Susan has been roaring along, has completely refilled her stores and was ready to swarm.Â We’ve made a half-hearted effort to control her swarming urge.Â I say half-heartedÂ because we knew that Susan was going to swarm no matter what we did.Â She seems much better at producing bees than she is a producing honey!
Yesterday, I was working on replacing some boards on our house that were water-damaged.Â Late in the afternoon as I went to the garage to get a tool, I heard a loud humming - it didn’t take a few seconds to realize we had a cloud of bees behind the house just about at the roofline.Â They were formed into a column, kind of a tornado of bees.Â I went behind the house to see where they would go, and I saw that quite a few bees were on the front of the now-empty Victoria.Â I suited up and opened the entrance to Victoria I had blocked it to keep mice out.Â Activity around Victoria picked up even more.
I said to Amanda that it would be quite remarkable if Susan swarmed and the swarm occupied Victoria!Â We didn’t think it was likely, but next morning it was clear that bees have taken up residence in Victoria again.