Monday, April 25, 2016

GONE GIRLS

CLICK HERE for yesterday's post about the water and now today...welp, bad news...the new hive is gone.  

Not only gone, but GONE GONE...

Absconded bees
When I looked at the new hive, there wasn't any activity at the entrance.  That worried me so I quickly donned the bee suit and took the hive apart.  

Nothing...nada...zilch...
Didn't even look like they did anything.  Almost seems as if they left not long after they were put in.  I didn't even need the bee suit, in fact, I took my gloves off and just took it apart.  I made sure it was clean and I put it up in the barn so it would be safe until whatever comes next


Most likely it was something called "absconding" which is when a colony of bees just leaves.  It's not like they died, they were just gone.  I looked all over the property to see if they moved elsewhere but nothing.  Of course with 11 acres, and much of it flooded, they could have been up in a tree anywhere and I could have easily missed them.  The queen is clipped though (she can't fly) so I'm not sure how they vanished and where they could have gone.  Maybe she died since she got released from her cage too soon?  Or somehow got out of the hive and without a queen, the others just left?  Of course, they were installed a few days before 17" of rain.  The hive was dry inside, but maybe they just didn't like the constant downpour?  Weren't established enough to, pardon the pun, 'weather it'?  I guess we'll never know...

Thankfully, Ariadne hive right next door is doing wonderfully, literally buzzing with activity (I love standing next to it and hearing the hum).


I have contacted the apiary to see if I can get some more but I think they sustained some water damage in the floods.  It's always a learning curve and this will just be another lesson...


34 comments:

kymber said...

oh 1st Man - i am so sorry. especially when you don't what exactly happened or why? but thankfully, ariadne is still there. i have no advice and i feel terribly for you.

sending much love, as always. your friend,
kymber

Anne in the kitchen said...

I am so sorry they flew the proverbial coop. Bees are interesting critters but seem to be a little fickle

laurie said...

oh that is such a sad mystery,, I wonder if you will ever know,, maybe they are not far,, maybe you will find them,,

Dawn McHugh said...

terrible news you hear more and more of absconding hives 3rd time lucky so they say, perhaps set it up as a swarm hive as there is a good chance your established hive may throw a swarm this year

Texas Rose said...

Oh, such sad news. Sooo sorry for you. I’m glad that Ariadne is doing so well.

beachdaddy said...

That is sooo sad news!!! When bees in general are having such a hard time and you provide them such excellent new housing!!! Good luck!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

so sad but not surprising with the weather you've had. i hope you can get some new ones.

FionaG said...

Damn!! So frustrating but point to you for persistence. I guess like everything to do with nature, we can merely go along for the ride. Hopefully the next batch with stay around and get established. Would be nice to see you get some liquid gold.

MaryJo said...

What a shame & how ungrateful of them!
Stay dry!

Kate said...

I was just flummoxed when my first hive absconded - happily, I still have three strong hives humming. I feel guilty when I catch a swarm, knowing it is probably someone else's absconded bees!!!

Leigh said...

Oh no! Oh no! I've worried about that happening to me and am so sorry it happened to you. What a disappointment. As it is, one of my queens has not produced any brood so I'm learning how to re-queen a hive. It's always something, isn't it? I hope you're able to get more bees.

Ross said...

You're probably just relieved to be out at the farm to check it out. May all that rain replenish the water table.

1st Man said...

Thank you sweet lady! That's what's frustrating..you know if they weren't producing or the queen died and I found her, I would understand but this shall just remain a mystery forever. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

It doesn't take much for them to get spooked I guess. Thank you!

1st Man said...

They could be nearby, in the hollow of a tree somewhere on the property. Maybe anyway!

1st Man said...

3rd times a charm, hopefully! That's a good idea though as a swarm hive. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

I know, we tried, I guess that's all we can do....thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Yeah, it might have just been the wrong time, they weren't familiar with the area, didn't know where to go for food, etc. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Yep, along for the ride for sure. The good and the bad. Thanks!! We want liquid gold in the worst way. I think we'll definitely have some from the established hive this year. Fingers crossed.

1st Man said...

LOL! That made me laugh! Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Well I'm glad to know it's not just me and my beekeeping skills (or lack there of, ha). I never thought about a swarm catch, it could be bees from someone else...

Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Thank you Leigh!! I think that 'might' be what happened to our our last one, (that this replaced) because they never produced much brood but I didn't think of requeening. I hope you share your experience. It's fascinating but frustrating at times. Of course, it comes with the territory huh?

Th

1st Man said...

That was supposed to end with THANK YOU so much for sharing your learning as well!

1st Man said...

Great point, the water table should be way up now! That's always good (we're on well water). Thank you!! All is reasonably well!

Little Julie said...

So sorry, to hear this. I wonder what happened? You had all those gorgeous wildflowers, they had nice neighbors, an awesome new house to live in, beautiful scenery...but maybe like you said, the Queen wasn't ready to take her place on the throne. Thankfully first hive is humming along and I can't wait to see the honey harvest.

Alison said...

I was afraid this is what you were alluding to in your last post. I'm so sorry! I'm very glad Ariadne's team made it through. Did you check the barns? I'm glad all else is well with you. <3

Margaret said...

Oh, that's so sad. As you say, everything is a lesson learned, especially when there's a bad outcome. Hopefully third time with this hive is the charm...

Sandy said...

1st Man,

I'm sorry to hear about your knew hive and bee's. I'm wondering if your bee's took off and created their own hive close by. Maybe you can set up a trap and re-capture them??

1st Man said...

I know, that's so crazy. Sigh. We certainly gave them every opportunity but they had other ideas I suppose. Thanks!!

1st Man said...

Yep, but yep, that's life/nature I suppose. Onward and upward. Yes, the barns were high and dry so that's good. Thanks!!!

1st Man said...

Third time WILL be a charm...now we just need to find some bees. :-)

1st Man said...

I think that may have happened, But with the property so big and much of it not easily accessible, we may never know. But hey, we'll move on and try something new. I might try a trap later and see if we can catch out own swarm.

tcortez89 said...

What???????? You didn't tell me this happened!!! This sucks!!!!! What a bummer! And you were so excited about this! 😩😩😩