I lost 2 1/2 of my 5 hives and my 2 NUCS over the winter. I think I lost the NUCs due to mites. I need to look at some droppings I took from the hive with my nifty digital microscope to be sure. It is unclear why I lost the other hives – I suspect it is because of the crazy March weather we had & possibly Nosema Cerena.
You’re probably thinking how do you lose 1/2 a hive? Well. technically I lost the whole hive – but amazingly I found the queen alive!.. so I have her in a queen cage and am “banking” her until I can pull some brood to start a new hive (the banking is a topic for my next blog!)..
Because of the hive losses, I decided to purchase a “package” of bees to restart one of the hives. A package consists of a queen + 3lbs (~10K) honeybees. I picked up my package on 4/9 from Hillside Bees in Merrimack, NH and “installed” them in a hive that evening.
I wore a Go-pro camera while I was hiving the bees & the video came out pretty well for my first try. Click on the picture below if you’d like to see how you start a hive! (it is about 9.5 minutes long).. The camera is on a chest harness so occasionally my arms block the view.. but you see most of it. Also, toward the end of the video you’ll hear one of the bees buzzing really loudly.. She decided that she liked being on top of the camera body!