Sorting the Hives

Neither of my bee hives made it though the winter.

Again.bee hives

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.bee hives

Next year, I tell myself once again, I will do things differently.bee hives

But for this year, there is nothing to be done but clean the hives in preparation for new bees.bee hives

I set the girls up and then watched from the sidelines as all three girls jumped into the project together.bee hives

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.bee hives

Next year I’ll do better.bee hives

But this year, despite my dead bees, I couldn’t help but enjoy the process.

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19 comments on “Sorting the Hives

  1. dianeschuller.com says:

    you always see the bright side, even when the dark side shows itself first. The girls make a great team — great detectives too!

    • Jessie says:

      They can make a great team, when the mood and the activity are just right. It’s not common all three work together like that which made is so fun to see.

  2. Dan says:

    Not sure I could ever go near a hive. I don’t have a phobia and I remain calm around the odd bed/wasp, but the thought of opening a whole hive of them makes me queasy. Still, fascinating to see the process and your girls working so well together😊

    • Jessie says:

      But it’s so *fascinating* to see inside! And on a good day the bees continue on with their business and only a few seem concerned with the beekeeper….I bet you could do it! 🙂

  3. Rosie Amber says:

    Ah Bless! My Dad keeps bees, do you give then sugar syrup to help get through the winter?, Do you insulate the hives? I’m sure you’d have to where you live. I bet you get some great tasting honey though. Good Luck with this years bees.

    • Jessie says:

      Well I was going to give them syrup… and when I went out to see how active they were that day, they were gone. And I usually insulate them… but I might have forgot… Yeah, I’m a bad winter beekeeper… Next year. I’ll do better next year!

  4. jenanita01 says:

    Sorry to hear about the demise of your bees, it’s becoming a serious problem I hear, and we do need them so much. It would drive me crazy not knowing what happened, though…

    • Jessie says:

      It is, and there are many theories on the overall problem. But one of my hives I think just didn’t have a big enough mass of bees to keep it’self warm during one of our really cold spells. The other ran out of food, which I should have been able to help them with, but I went to feed them just a few days too late. 😦 Like I said bad winter bee keeper. Next year… next year…

  5. Aishwarya says:

    I am no expert on bee-keeping but I enjoyed the post. Glad you had fun…did you find the Queen bee though?

  6. N. says:

    You have very helpful little girls there 🙂 Can I possibly send you mine for training purposes?

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