I love keeping bees. It is such a challenge and such an art. So much goes into keeping them thriving, and there is so much to learn. I am working with my next door neighbor Becca, and our fearless assistant Elsa.
After loosing last years hive, we started this year with two hives, each with laying queens. Each hive/queen gets a name, so Queen Latifa and BeeJeezus joined the bee yard. Mid-summer we divided the hives into two more, smaller hives and ordered a new queen, Beeyonce for one of the hives, and took a frame with two queen cells from BeeJeezus for the other one (Sweet Baby Beejeezus). Both new smaller hives seem to be doing well and the new queens are laying away.
This past week we checked on BeeJeezus and found the hive to be queen-less. With winter right around the corner, it is too late to order and establish a new queen. The bad news is, her colony will slowly dwindle, with no eggs to hatch, and come spring, it will be an empty hive. The good new is, that we get to take her honey and share some with the other hives.
Over the next couple of weeks we will prepare for a long cold winter. We plan to wrap, insulate and shelter the hives from winds. And hope that they survive.