RIP Bees

Empty Hive

I’ve been concerned about my bees because I’ve seen NO activity during recent warm days. I had been told to expect minor activity on warmer days as the bees take “cleansing flights” to relieve themselves outside the hive. So far, nothing. I’ve peered into the hive entrance a few times, and though there have been some dead bees, I never saw mounds of them.

Yesterday was a warm day, in the high fifties, though overcast, so I decided to take a quick look inside. I’m sad to report that the hive was empty. It looks more like they left than like they died. There aren’t enough bee bodies for dying. There is lots of capped honey so they couldn’t have starved. I last saw them on Thanksgiving weekend. I’m not sure when they left or why.

I’m not discouraged though. Chalk it up to a learning experience about a new hobby.

I’ll try again this spring. Hopefully there’s nothing wrong with the frames in the hive, and the new bees will have a healthy head start.

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Posted on 31 January 2013, in Bees and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Oooohhh, Besty – how sad. :-(

  2. That’s sad Betsy. I know the effort you put in last year into this and it would have been very satisfying to bond with them for more years…I enjoyed the honey you gave me last year and was planning on putting a request to buy honey from you this year. Good luck with your second trial. If you do it again and it is harvest time I would like to buy honey from you this time.

  3. I am so sorry this happened to you. They are unpredictable, though: I have been a beekeeper in the UK (although originally from your neck of the woods) for about four years and know anything can happen. I know sometimes this will happen with package bees, although it can happen with any kind of bee. It may be a case of absconding (http://www.honeybeesuite.com/absconding-swarms-leave-an-empty-hive/) or it could be something as serious as colony collapse disorder or some parasite. If you belong to a local association, they may be able to help you. Good luck!

    • will inquire with the local beekeepers association I belong to. Maybe they will have an idea of the cause, or someone more experience could look at the hive with me to see if there is a problem in there before I try again in the spring. Thank you for your comment!

  4. Oh no! That’s so disappointing. I hope your next batch sticks around.

  5. Oh, I prefer to think that they flew a little further south for some warmth! I am glad that this hasn’t discouraged you and can only imagine that there is so much to learn about bee keeping.

  6. Oh, Betsy, I just read this and I am upset. I take it that you don’t think they will return as a swarm. It will be good to figure out what when wrong for your peace of mind. I am glad that you are not giving up on this adventure. I am quite impressed that you’ve undertaken an important project like bee keeping. We need those little buggers. When you find out the problem, if you do, will you tell me please. Hang in there, kiddo. I am so sorry this happen.

  7. Betsy, I’m so sorry about your bees! I’ve really enjoyed living vicariously through you while you learned all about them…glad you’re not giving up!

  8. Sorry to hear about your bees. I have found your whole bee experience to be so fascinating! I hope you can figure out why they left so you can prevent it from happening again.

  9. Betsy, I had not seen this post before and I am quite sorry to read about the fate of your bees but I am glad that you will not give up and start anew – I am still in awe of all that you did/do for this wonderful and important hobby of yours!

  10. Meant to send you a note. I have sooooo adored your honey! I am getting close to having to scrape out the very last drops. So flavorful and it was such a terrific treat. So sorry about your bees. Maybe this year?? :)

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