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Tuesday, May 5, 2015


I think my new bees are doomed.  I'd so wanted everything to go well this time in order to have something happy to post about, but their installation did not go well at all.  

What's not leaves there are dead bees
I signed up to be in the second wave at Ruhl because the fence wouldn't be ready by then and my spot for them was to be right by the fence (see below). I picked them up late in the day on the twenty-second of April and installed them that evening, like half an hour later. The queen went in okay, and a good portion of the workers got dumped in after her, but the ones remaining did not climb out and make their way to the hive entrance.  When I came out the next day, the majority of what was left in the bee cage was dead.  I estimate that I lost half my bees with the installation.

It was so awful that I quickly ran inside to look up a patron saint of bees. Curiously, there are several patron saints of beekeepers, including Saint Valentine, but only one patron saint of beekeepers and bees, and that's Saint Gobnait. Gobnait is the Irish version of both Abigail and Deborah, both of which names are hugely better than Gobnait, which almost sounds like it should have a 'hob' in front of it, as in 'hobgobnait'. What a truly horrid name.  Sorry all you Gobnaits out there; it is what it is.  But I said a prayer to Saint Gobnait anyway. I think she knows my feelings about her name, because the number of bees leaving and entering the hive entrance is dwindling, and I think my colony is dying. I'd like to open up the hive and check on the bees, but it hasn't been warm enough lately, and if there are brood in there I don't want to risk chilling them.  So I'm waiting for a warmer day.  This past Sunday would have been a good day, it was eighty-one, but we were doing something else and I couldn't stop.  And honestly?  I can look at them all I want but I can't do anything to help them.

Unless Saint Gobnait wants to pull a miracle out of her wimple, it looks like I'll be studying up on swarm trapping for next year.

Which will be Bees, version 4.0....can you believe it?

I am zero for three.
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