Here we are in 2021. Sounds strange…..but not quite as strange as last year was and this year already is!!

I want to talk this month about the fact that beekeepers all over the US are losing hives for, which seems, no apparent reason. This is why all beekeepers are told and tell others that …it is a number’s game. The more hives you have, the better the changes are, for at least some, to make it through an entire year. If genetics are really strong, maybe your hives will last longer. Possibly 2 or even 3 years.

This really is a sad state of affairs for all of life on this planet. We have heard so many times that if insects do not survive, the human population will not survive either.

In 2020, I lost 50% of my hives. Some were splits and for some reason, they died out before the summer was even over. Healthy, robust hives …..a few days later….EMPTY!! Maybe the queen did not get mated properly, or the bees got into something that was quickly spread through the hive? A beekeeper may never really know the reason that they lost a hive. One would think after 12 years of beekeeping, this would not be an issue. A beekeeper learns to be patient. I go into my bees very minimally as bees really do not need my assistance through most of the year. I go into my bees if I suspect a problem. As in…one day the bees are looking really good, bringing in pollen and nectar, and then all of a sudden, there is no activity at the entrance. When I see this, I like to get in quickly so that I can save the comb before wax moths set in.

I have my opinions and assessment of the situation that I just described, but like the old saying “Ask 10 beekeepers about a particular subject and you’ll probably get 12 or more answers.” I am not saying that all of those answers are incorrect or shouldn’t be considered, I am just saying that in every situation dealing with beekeeping, the cause of any situation in a bee hive is subject to what really happened. As a beekeeper, I am usually not positive about what really did happen!!

We as humans on this planet, learn from our mistakes. So how do I learn from a mistake, it I never really know what or if a mistake was made on my part. If I go into the bee less…..is that a mistake? If I go into the bees more often….is that a mistake??

Before the days of excessive chemical use and the introduction of pests into America and the bee hive, beekeeping was much less labor intensive. The bees just did their thing and we were able to enjoy the bees, benefit from their pollination of the plants and even enjoy a bit of honey each year.

I truly hope and pray that we see those days again!! That man and his chemicals see the error of their ways, and some how this lunacy stops and the earth and all it’s inhabitants are allowed to truly enjoy all that this planet has to offer.

Maybe I’m a dreamer….but I’m not the only one!!!!! I hope someday you’ll join me, and the world can live as one!!!! ~John Lennon

As I close out this monthly blog, I leave you with what is blooming in my yard on this January 2021.

Hellebore – shade loving winter blooming perennial

Henbit – Winter Annual

Some have reported Red Maple blooming. I have not seen it yet in my area, but know that it is coming very soon.

Red Maple – Acer rubrum

Until next Month…..


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