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A Sad Day on the Homestead.

Today we experienced our first loss on the homestead. My bees have all died. (I thought I was going to be filming a video for you about how a hive SURVIVES winter!)

Needless to say, you can hear in my voice on the video how sad I was to discover their demise. Despite what I may have said in my admittedly "off the cuff" commentary, I plan to do more research to find out the cause. As a beekeeper, especially a new one, I think it's important to know what went wrong, to try to avoid the issue in future. There were no signs of major diseases (Foulbrood, etc.) I'm thinking the cause was the nasty old varroa mite. These bees were purchased as a "treatment free" nuc, so I didn't treat them for mites in the fall. Many beekeepers will have many different opinions about this, and that is ok. I was certainly well aware that mites could/would be an issue, but I was willing to see how the colony fared "au natural" without my intervention. I realize now that even though I wasn't planning to treat them, I should have done a mite count. I would have had more concrete information about their cause of death.

Bee politics aside, this was a sad loss, but we WILL try again in Spring! I am happy to report that Karl's hive IS still alive, and appears to be doing well. The other good news is my bees left a parting gift. We now have 8 capped frames of their gorgeous spring honey! Thank you ladies!

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