We found the bees dead on the bottom of the hive.
Beekeeping in Santa Fe area can be tough
The bees died in our second hive this winter which we discovered a couple of weeks ago. They left 8 bars of honey so it wasn’t from lack of food-they originally had 16 bars. I think they didn’t have enough bees in their colony going into winter to keep them warm but not really sure why they died-just a guess. No Varroa mites. No obvious signs of problems.
Our first hive which did so well last summer got robbed out of honey by other bees when their numbers went down from wanting to swarm so much. We ended up splitting that hive 3 times. We could of let them swarm (which any good beekeeper would try to discourage them from doing) so we split the hive to keep them from swarming. Bees want to swarm when they are feeling good-when the number of bees inside the hive are growing and they need more room. Kinda like outgrowing your apartment. This is a normal thing to do. Bees wanna swarm-Beekeepers split the hive. You don’t want half your hive going off and settling under someone’s portal. If we hadn’t split them, they would swarm anyways and then you lose all the bees in the swarm.
Honey saved from bees-33 jars but we already gave away several jars in case you count!
When we discovered they died and left all this honey, we filtered it and jarred it-33 jars! It is so sad for me when I see all those jars of honey when they worked so hard to make it. But it won’t go to waste. I don’t think we have harvested honey in about 4 years. You have to leave enough honey for them every year to get through winters here and it has been slim pickens with not that many blossoms because of all these droughts. Still, they did produce a good amount of honey.
Here is a little Honeybee facts-more
with some interesting info on honeybees. Did you know that a single bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in it’s lifetime! That’s all. This should make you appreciate the bees the next time you use honey in your tea or on your toast.
Yesterday I ordered more bees for this season. They seem to live 2-3 years here, so we will start over with them again. Northern NM is such a 😒 hard place to raise bees!
Awww. I feel sad for you and the bees. You’ve got a lot of spirit to keep doing it 🤗 kudos! Your honey jars Are making me want some green tea with honey. You’ve reminded me I need to look up all the varieties of native bees that visit my gardens. I’ve never seen such diversity!
Oh, that is so sad. The honey looks wonderful. I hope your next batch does better.
This is the most honest helpful thing I’ve ever read about raising bees. It’s completely relevant to me since I live in Santa Fe. So hard to find good info that applies here.
Bummer. My bees didn’t survive either. And they left some honey as well. Hive was only 2 years old but they never did well enough to swarm. My bees actually did better when I lived in the city…whodda thunk?
Oh no! At least you got lots of honey. Better luck on your new bees!!
1/12?! That means it takes a dozen bees to make a teaspoon of honey! and I use a lot more than that at any one time! That is SO exploitative!