This is perplexing
We finally checked the bees today to see how they fared during this long cold winter. We had a big surprise, and it wasn’t a good kind of surprise, either. Currently we have 2 hives- #1, Famine, had a very rocky start last summer. First, the queen left as we were hiving our first box of bees. Then, we bought a new queen, which arrived just about the time the original queen made her way back home, so the hive turned on the new queen and killed her. This hive produced very slowly and we harvested no honey from it.
Hive #2, War, was very active from day 1. We got about 30 lbs. of honey our first year, a respectable harvest. The bees had about 4 times that amount to make it through the winter. We were sure that War would be fine during the cold months but were worried about poor Famine.
Today, the results are in: Famine is fine, thriving even. A small amount of honey is left in the deeps but they should easily make it till nectar flow begins. War is dead. Completely, totally silent, nothing at all moving. War also has 3 deeps full of honey, so this hive must have died very early on.
We have no idea of what might have caused this. They had plenty to eat, they were wrapped for the winter and War had the healthiest queen. We’ll be looking into this mystery and will post as soon as we have some idea of what happened. In the mean time, it’s a pretty sad day around our house- we love our little bees!