Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Hives

Well, I knew it. I didn’t know it but I suspected something was wrong. I have been watching the hives for the last week and a half and knew there was something going on. I have seen little to no activity out of my girls so I asked my friend Jonathan to come out and take a look. He came out last Thursday night. He checked the newer hive first because that is the one I noticed had almost no activity. He showed me the honey in the comb, but there is no brood and no queen. (I forgot the camera).

The older hive, the one that I have had for a year, had very few bees inside. There were wax moths and hive beetles inside along with maggots. *sigh* As far as he can tell, the bees got into some pesticide. Again. None of the comb had honey on it at all. We live on 7.5 acres but we have incorporated neighborhoods all around us and around the lake so there are a lot of people making their lawns & flowers ‘pretty’ with fertilizers and such. I am not blaming the neighbors by any means, just wish this hadn’t happened. Again. He said it had only taken about 5-10 days too. I can't believe it happened so fast. :(

Thursday night was also our local bee meeting so we were very interested to see if anyone else is having any issues in this area. Some people are having issues with heat but not necessarily with poisons that they knew of. I am so bummed and ready to throw in the towel but I do have options. Here are a few:

·        I can take the hives off the property and have him put them somewhere else. We may just be to close to ‘civilization’. There are people in the city limits that do fine so that is why we think it is a particular poison on a particular flower.
·        We can build up one of the hives and bring it back until January, then move it into the orange groves (a little north of here) and not bring it back until June. The other hive will be cleaned up real good and possibly brought back depending on the first hive.
·        Or I can quit altogether and just buy my honey from Jonathan.

There may be other options, maybe someone has some ideas and can leave them in the comments?

No matter what I decide it will take a few weeks to build the hives back up so I have time to think about it. Oh, if you do nothing else, keep notes on your hives. Having notes from last year’s fiasco really helped us to figure out what happened this year.

For now, Ray (Jonathan’s dad) has come and picked up the hives. Now when I look out our big picture window I see plain cement blocks. No girls flying in the sunlight, heading out to find nectar or home to make the honey.

I hope this post doesn’t discourage any new beekeepers. Everyone has different circumstances and although mine are unfortunate, I am not going to let it get me down. Everything happens for a reason and God is good all the time. It will work out for the best.   

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your week!


  1. Oh no~I am so sorry for you. It has to be heartbreaking to have it happen once, but twice? We live in the country, but our county still sprays and it worries me since the spraying is next to creek which is the bees' main water supply. Our local bee experts have hives on other people's property which may be the way to go for you. Keep us posted!

    And you are right~God is good ALL the time!

  2. Ooooooohhhhh. I'm so very sorry! Such a mystery to solve! And without knowing it is hard to bring them back. What was your clue that it was poisoning?

  3. Yes, it has happened twice and is so sad. I am supposed to be helping the bees, not killing them. :(

    @Amy, we think it is some sort of fertilizer or poison that someone is using and used last year. The exact same thing happened last year except I only had one hive then. It was around the beginning of May and we built the hive back up but it took all the rest of the year to do it. We did get honey, but only about 7 lbs total. It should have been 12-24 lbs. I am still not sure what I will do yet, praying about it (and a lot of other things too). :}



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