Mixed emotions at the apiary today. Happiness because my bees are doing well, sadness because we looked at more dead hives today.
Bear in mind that the last lot of fondant I put on took two months for my bees to eat, and now look what they did to the new fondant block in just two weeks:
They’re really going for it! And bringing lots of a light brown/grey biscuity pollen back:
Anyone know what this pollen might be?
Sadly one of the apiary beekeepers, Stan, discovered today that one of his two colonies had died. I never know what to say when someone loses their bees, it must be so disheartening after the hard work put in during the year. There was a lot of dysentery so nosema may be to blame. A beekeeper with a microscope at home took one of the pooey frames with him to analyse. There were plenty of stores and it was a big colony so it wasn’t starvation or cold that was to blame. Another beekeeper’s nucleus had been invaded by mice which had eaten the honey out of the frames, even though the entrance hole was tiny.
We’re going to be shook-swarming at the apiary next week if the weather’s warm enough, but it’s been so cold lately we may have to wait another week.
A final link: http://www.beesinfrance.com/2011/black-white-bees/ – these photos of a black & white French Ashy Mining Bee are stunning, I’ve never seen anything like her. We need to look after our solitary bees too!