Hive 4 is dead. Mostly.
I put entrance reducers on the hives last week in preparation for winter, but we’re having a flurry of really nice weather (70s!). Yesterday I got home early enough to take a quick look across the front of the hives, and there was heavy flight patterns in front of 1, 3, and 5. I waited five minutes and I saw a single bee poke her head out of the front of 4. One.
I ran inside, grabbed my bear and did a very quick peek inside of Hive 4. The queen was sitting right on top of the frames looking very slow. There were only a few hundred bees that I could see by looking between the frames. I wasn’t prepared to go deeper, so that’s all I did, but I think it’s safe to say Hive 4 is dead.
Sigh… That makes two in the last month.
This one is obviously different than Hive 2 in that the queen is still here. She’s my one marked queen, so she was very easy to recognize. She’s also my oldest queen. I may try to go into that hive this Saturday just to see what’s going on. I am expecting to find a lot of dead bees because I seriously doubt this is CCD. Depending on what I find, I may harvest the hive as well. I don’t know if I’m ready to get back into harvesting mode….
One thing that does leave me particularly disappointed is that this is the end of what has been my favorite line. Hive 4 was the mom and Hive 2 was the daughter, and they are both dead. I liked the production of these particular queens, although I didn’t much care for the propolis (very heavy).