Went out to the hive that swarmed anyway, without smoke, like a dumbass, to check it. Every single frame is empty, dry as a bone. No brood. A little pollen. Zero nectar/honey. I did find some open queen cells, but couldn’t spot a queen. There were quite a number of bees in the box, and they were mighty pissed off. I got two more stings out of it. I’m not sure if they were just in the to rob out any little bit they could or if they actually lived there. I’m hoping the latter, it would suck to have the entire hive abscond. At least I know my agenda for tomorrow morning: thorough hive inspections. With the smoker and a lot of fuel to make sure I can take my time.
Half the mowing done. When you can hear the thunder through your earplugs over the drone of the tractor, it’s time to stop for the time being and get back in the house. I did make it partially to the orchard/beeyard, and I think the swarmed hive may have actually been two swarms and completely absconded. The feeder I put on that hive this morning is empty, and I believe the other bees are robbing it out. That will take some investigation, which will have to wait a bit until this storm passes. Can’t do much good for the bees if you’re setting yourself out as a lightning target. I hope they’re not all gone. That would be a pity, although it would immediately free a box for a late season split. It isn’t like our winters are hideous around here, so they’d have plenty of time to make a queen, have her mate, and get going before the chill arrives. We shall see.
Fed the bees this morning and took a look into a few, trying to see if I could determine which hive cast the swarm. I believe I found it: the number five hive, which itself was a split from another hive. The queen must have been amazingly productive, as the super and the top brood box were totally empty of all stores. Lack of food will cause them to swarm as they go off looking for greener pastures. I got two stings for my trouble, and for not taking the smoker out with me on this overcast day, but set a feeder on them to get them going again. I’ll have to go back through it, and probably reduce it back down to one brood box to let them build up again. I went through the others on the same hive stand, and they were all fine. Next step: moving to the next hive stand, to break down those hives and see what they have going on. With the smoker. My biggest problem is bees getting caught in the creases in my suit, so when I bend or move my arm to do something, they get crushed and I get a sting in an uncomfortable place (like the crook of my left arm and the inside of the bicep on my right arm). Fun times, kids.
“A literary site devoted to highlighting, profiling, reviewing, and interviewing authors whose first major work was published when they were age 40 or older.”