It was supposed to rain later in the day on Sunday. So, early in the day we tore out to the bee yard to flip hive body boxes. What do I mean – well, you break the two hive bode boxes apart and put the bottom box on the top, and top box goes to the bottom. Bees have a tendency to like living in the penthouse. In the spring they’ll crowd the top while there is room down low, so we trick them.
Things were going well, we dumped out the old sugar syrup, rinsed out the feeders and gave the girls all new tasty syrup. We did a little spring housecleaning, cleaned off the bottom boards and putting everything back together. And then we got to Lena, and possibly you remember my past rumblings on her temperament … well, that’s when the bees really took issue with our activities. Badda-bing, two bees shot up Robin’s veil while Mark got off scott free. It was one rock solid sting and a second sting that was more of a grazing. So, we got everything done, packed up and headed to town for a shot in da butt. And some more antihistamines. And then a long nap.
And, we officially declared Thor to be passed on to the bee afterlife. She is clearly queenless and the comb is very dark. The remainder of the bees in Thor were spread among the other thriving colonies and all the comb is going in the trash. We’ll try our hand at splits again this spring and see if we can whip up a new batch for the three empty hives in storage.
— Also, three dead mice in Thor. Which made me wonder, what is the record for number of dead mice in a hive?!
So, five overwintering hives became four, putting our 20% loss right in the ballpark with what I’m hearing from others.