Saturday, April 2, 2011

Winter Loss

Bees all in one corner
It appears that my hive #1 that I started out with two years ago as the strongest hive has succumbed to starvation. I have read that the bees can get separated from plenty of honey (in this case a full medium above them) by eating their way into a corner. This is what looks like happened. I was out in the bee yard in February after a long snap of cold weather and rapped on the side of the hive to hear the familiar sound of bees and heard nothing. I kind of knew then that it was not good. It was finally 50 degrees today, our warmest day since back in November - I think. I went out to see what had happened. While my other hive buzzed with activity, along with pollen coming in, I tore into hive number one.
Bees in cells

I cleaned out the hive and and wondered if it had been ventilated well enough because it looked very mildewed. I also saw in one corner of the brood box a small but concerning amount of mold growing on two of the frames. I would be very interested in anyone who has experienced mold to comment on what is the best way to clear up this problem.

Blue mold
I felt bad as I cleared out the hive. I wonder if there was more that I should have done to create better air-flow. I did have the telescoping top propped up at one end with small shims, but maybe it wasn't enough.


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