This has been a tough year, both it just being 2020 and for the survival of my hives. I’ve lost 50% of my hives this year already. Yes, a couple were due to queens not getting mated properly, but one was a very healthy robust hive until August. One day booming and a few days later….EMPTY!!
For a period during the beginning of 2020 when there wasn’t a lot of traffic and things started to appear healthier, my bees did very well. I started with 2 hives, split them both and bought a package and a nuc. I have not bought bees in quite a while, but I wanted to expand my genetics. I have a friend that shakes his own packages and he has very healthy queens. The nuc was from another friend. The bees are “apis carniola”!!
Summer can be a very difficult time. I have planted forage for years, but that does not guarantee that my bees will stay on my property. I love the area that I live in because there is lots of forage and my bees will travel up to 4 miles to find that forage. They may find the flowers in your yard.
The summer time is difficult for bees and all pollinators, because land owners insist on spraying every lawn, every flower bed, every inch of their property with pesticides and herbicides!! My bees go to forage in that area and come in contact with those chemicals. It can be certain death for that bee, but the really sad part is that those bees that forage in those areas of chemicals, bring it all back to the hive.
When I find a dead empty hive, like I did this summer, the only thing that I can attribute that kind of absconding, is that the hive became so toxic, that the bees could no longer live there.
I am in a rural area and land is being bought up by those that can no longer stand the city. The land is cleared and the first thing that most all developers do is SPRAY EVERYTHING!!!!! There are areas not far from me that have been cleared for new houses. I believe it to be the culprit of my dead hive. It is nothing that I can ever prove, but I’ve been a beekeeper for a long enough and sometimes, you just know.
The other occurrence that happens in the summer is…..all of these houses that are built, are spraying for mosquitoes and many current homeowners have taken up the practice of spraying the entire lawn and scrub area with “perithrine”, which is very deadly to bees.
I know that mosquitoes are a pest and we don’t like getting bit, but if we do not curb the use of these deadly chemicals, we may lose ALL OF THE BEES & POLLINATORS!!
If the Bees visited your flowers, would they live or die??????
There are earth friendly solutions to this issue if we would just take the time to search them out. There are bait systems out now, similar to the use for termites and ants. PLEASE, I BEG YOU TO SEARCH THOSE OUT!!!
DID YOU KNOW…THAT EVERY THIRD BITE OF YOUR DAILY FOOD IS BECAUSE OF A POLLINATOR?!?!?
I am praying and hoping that my remaining 3 hives make it through this very tough year of 2020.
Then there will be 2021. What can YOU DO to improve the chances for our pollinators?????