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And then there were none – tales from the observation hive

The exit through which the bees attempted their late season escape.

The exit through which the bees made their late season escape.

The year 2014 was a peculiar one on the observation hive and the ending was rather odd too.

The queenless colony dwindled and it did so in two rapid surges. One day early in November there was a queue at the nucleus hive in the garden – and suddenly about half the bees in the observation hive had gone. A large group of them had obviously decided to move en masse.

The second move involved the quite small number of remaining bees, but it was very decisive! At the end of November, there was one day of very heavy continuous rain . Then, as darkness fell, the clouds cleared to greet a very heavy frost. Overnight all the remaining bees disappeared!

In the morning, the observation hive was completely empty. There were no dead bees, so either in the torrential rain or the heavy frost, they made a dash for it.

Perhaps they entered the garden nucleus. Perhaps they died in the attempt. I simply don’t know!

Turlough, Vita’s Guest Beekeeper Blogger

 

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