The weather here has been extraordinary warm for this time of the year with temperatures in the mid 50’s. Over the past weeks I had been watching the hive and didn’t see any activity. Today, I opened the hive and discovered the hive was dead. I had left 2 deeps and 3 supers full of honey on this hive to help winter over the bees. Almost all of the honey is still in the hive and looks like it was not touched.
I cleaned out the remaining dead bees that were on the bottom board and went through the hive frame by frame. Some of the dead bees I came across on the frames looked like they hadn’t been dead long. They looked perfect but were dead. There are no signs of disease or problem in the hive. In fact, the frames were dry and clean. There were only a few cells of old pollen that had white mold growing on them. The hive smelled like fresh honey. While I was cleaning out the very last box of any dead bees I started to notice that there were honeybees flying around me. These honeybees must have been from another hive in the neighborhood. They were very interested in the wax that I had been knocking off the inside of the hive and the remaining honey in the boxes. Quickly I had to finish up and put the hive back together making sure to close off all entrances to the hive.
Next weekend I will harvest the remaining honey and clean out all of the old wax foundation. The new package bees will be here in March or April, and they will have all new foundation to start with.