I noted in my post about the Blue Pollen below that there was some sad news from Meyer’s Outyard that I had been hesitant to share. I mainly hesitated because I didn’t have very many answers as to why the swarm colony was so weak. When I opened the hive I thought it was a late winter dead out. I came to find out very quickly that they were actually still alive. I found the queen and about 100 workers give or take a few with a very small batch of brood.
The picture above with the queen is probably 90% of the population in the hive. I did take a sample of the dead bees that were littering the bottom board in hopes of having them tested for nosema or other potential causes. I had already put the sample in the freezer before I talked to an experienced beekeeper friend that told me to preserve them in alcohol. I’m hoping that the sample is still viable, we will soon find out. Upon his advice I moved the colony into a nuc box with two frames and insulation on either side.
I checked on the colony this weekend and there were almost no bees except for the queen. She was not heavy with eggs because she could fly. Its hard to tell if any of her capped brood in the picture will emerge. At this point I will just keep checking on them and see what happens. I’m not trying to save this colony for any other reason than experimentation, in fact as far as I’m concerned they are written out of the plan for this year. My goal is to see if they can build from such a dismal state or continue to diminish and die out completely. I will post updates in the comments until the bitter end.