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Happenings in the insect world
by Andy Cannella
on October 1, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Last fall I was given a hive and re-queened with an Italian queen soon afterward. It had a single deep super for brood and honey for the bees with a queen excluder separating it from a medium super above. I added a deep supper above the brood box and queen excluder for the bees to fill with honey to get them through the next winter and put the medium super on top of that. I used a feeder and protected the hive from the cold over that first winter (it snows here in Auganga, CA), installed a source of water near the hive and have been generally pampering them as much as I could. In spring and through much of the summer there were wildflowers for miles around and the hive seemed to be thriving. Just as the Redshank started to bloom I put together 2 additional medium supers to catch the honey flow. When I inspected the still active hive I was surprised to find the no drawn comb in the medium super, very little drawn comb in the top deep super and minimal capped comb in the bottom supper. I contacted a local beekeeper and was told he was seeing the same thing in his commercial hives. A week later I found the hive empty. I inspected the bottom deep super and found no capped honey but quite a few pollen cells. There were also no queen cells. Very disappointing as I was thinking I'd be taking in my first honey harvest around this time. Any ideas as to what might have happened? Any suggestions? I planning to start again next spring with a nuc.
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