My hive died back in December. Homesteading FAIL!
I didn’t post about it right away because I got busy, then I just kept putting it off because I wasn’t excited about being a failed beekeeper. Of course, posting about it or not doesn’t change that facts of what happened – and I started posting about my hive because there just isn’t a lot of information about Perone hives available. I just really wanted it to work – and it didn’t! =( And I didn’t want my hive’s failure to deter other people from using Perone hives. Please understand that I’m no expert, and I’m not trying to be one, but this type of (hands-off) hive really seems to make the most sense compared to the more popular Langstroth-style of hive. I don’t think bees should be messed with and medicated like so many managed hives are. And, we can’t forget that A LOT of managed hives die too. Well, it is what it is. My beekeeping experiment failed. One thing I guess I just glossed over in reading about Perone hives is that Oscar Perone says you should start with a “prime swarm” and not commercial bees. So that’s what we’re trying to do this time around. We are “first on the list” for a swarm from my beekeeping mentor this year and hopefully we’ll be able to start this whole thing again. And, the new batch of bees will have the added advantage of all this comb already built, so they should be able to store a lot more honey than if we just plopped them in an empty hive.
So back to last December . . .
At first, I thought the dead bees on the bottom of the hive was just the hive’s way of cutting down to essential personnel only (fewer mouths to feed) – to get through the winter in the cluster. But, then, when we didn’t see any bees flying on the first warm day after a cold snap, I knew it was a dead-out. So sad. I felt like my pet had died!
Once we took the bottom board off of the hive, we had an opportunity to photograph the beautiful comb from the bottom. My bees worked so hard to build this stuff! We wrapped the entire hive in plastic – hoping to keep wax moths out until we can put a prime swarm in here – in the Spring.
This will give you an idea of the temperature here. In late December, most of the recently-fallen snow had melted, but this is the remains from a snow-man, so it was still on the chilly side.