Neither of my bee hives made it though the winter.
To add another layer of insult, I’m pretty sure that I’m worse at overwintering hives now than I was when I started this whole apiary thing ten years ago. It could be the genetics of the bees, it could be mites, it could be funky winter weather, or it could just be that I’m easily distracted by fluffy white flakes and warm fires and I’m a terribly inattentive winter bee keeper.
Next year, I tell myself once again, I will do things differently.
But for this year, there is nothing to be done but clean the hives in preparation for new bees.
I set the girls up and then watched from the sidelines as all three girls jumped into the project together.
They poked through the hives figuring out what happened (one starved, one froze), evicting the mice (serious excitement), comparing moldy bee colors, searching for the dead queen, and (helpfully) sorting the good frames from the bad.
Next year I’ll do better.
But this year, despite my dead bees, I couldn’t help but enjoy the process.