The Bee Guy

Monday, March 26, 2007

4 years of beekeeping without chemicals

Sunday, sunny and 50 degrees F, I checked the condition of my colonies. At first it looked like 8 of nine survived. It turned out live hives were harvesting from the dead ones. Looking more closely I lost two—one showed signs of laying workers during the winter. The other came from a late swarm that lost its queen in the Fall. A third has dwindled to only a handful of bees. A smart beekeeper would break up the colony. I’ll probably put them in a nuc just to give them a chance.

For no mite, foulbrood, or nosema treatments, this is a good survival rate. Later this spring I’ll graft a batch of queens from the healthiest hives (no I don’t count mites. I’m too lazy).

Now that we have a new “disease”—colony collapse disorder, or CCD, I imagine it will be blamed on a lot of dead colonies that died of other causes. I think I’ve suffered from CCD for years.