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Spring
2015-03-23:  
2015-03-23:  
2014-03-12:  
2014-03-14:  
2015-04-01:  I began keeping bees ( or maybe they kept me!) a year ago. I was given a hive and a swarm of caught bees by who has become my bee mentor. I live in a good area for bees - surrounded by fruit trees, flowers, gardens and in the fall an abundance of rabbit brush. The hive thrived. Going into fall the hive was full of bees and honey. I saw very little evidence of mites, etc. As I want to keep bees for pollinators for the community, I did not harvest any of the honey believing it to be the best food for the bees during the long, cold winter. Imagine my delight when a couple of weeks ago I noticed bees out and buzzing around in the warm weather! Last week on 2 consecutive days I did not see any bees. On the third day (March 27) I decided to open up the hive as I still had not seen any bees. Now imagine my broken heart when I found not a single live bee in the hive. As well, there were maybe only 50 dead bees in the hive, most of them on the screen board. There were not thousands of dead bees on the ground either. They were simply gone. I think it is way too early for the hive to have swarmed and even so, would the whole hive leave a good home? The only thing I noticed was that there were a lot of small black flies around the hive as it warmed up and I started seeing the bees out and about. Would flies chase away an entire hive of bees? I had already bought a second hive and have ordered bees to be delivered at the end of April as I wanted to keep two hives. I'm wondering if A) most of the bees left in the late fall and I didn't know or B) if they all left earlier this year when it was unseasonably warm and, if so, has anyone else experienced this or might have an answer. The photo is from early fall 2014. This is from the top honey super.
2013-04-07:  
2014-05-12:  
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2015-06-09:  
2013-06-19:  
2013-06-19: