I Lost My Hive

I've been raising honey bees for two years now and it was great to get the honey and watch the bees.  But last summer was soooooo dry and then this winter was sooooo cold (for Texas) that when I went out there just the other day, I noticed all the bees had died.  All gone... 

So now the question is to buy new bees or just quit for the time being?

LonghornFan LonghornFan
56-60, M
4 Responses Mar 11, 2010

You may have to mail order a package of bees. About a third of the swarm will die in shipping and the post office will need to contact you when it comes in. Letter carriers refuse to deliver swarms. You'll also need to get sugar feeder for the bees. The outdoor ones are the least expensive but they also attract bees who may fight YOUR bees to get to the sugar water. The ones that are placed inside the hive need to be checked during the winter. Everytime you check, you'll kill a few bees. Long time ago, I did see a in-the-hive feeder with an outside sugar water reserve so you could keep track of their needs without opening the hive. <hr /><br />
Bottom line: good time to google "bee keeping supplies" and order the free catalogs. I like Bushy Mountain's line.

Thanks WonderWartHog. I took the hive completely apart and it looks like they starved to death over the winter. The comb is cleaned out, not a bit of pollen or honey in any of it. I checked with a Texas bee seller and there are no bees to be had this spring, everything is sold out. So I cleaned out the hive and left it, in case the wild bees swarm. But I haven't seen or heard of any swarms this year, so I think the bee kill off for this area was very big.

Take the fr<x>ames to the local agricultural college. It could have been foul brood. This will mean that if you replace them, they'll die off again. Rule of thumb is to burn the hive and start over. It could be things like wax worms, mites and even that they starved to death because they couldn't find enough blooms during the year.

Buy new bees.. I would have cried finding them like that : (