Trouble Under the Willow Tree

It’s been almost two weeks since I have checked in on the hives. This time I started at the Orchard Hive. It seems that the wasps have finally given up and moved somewhere else. What a relief is was to not find them in the lid. Maybe this winter I need to study up on how to deter wasps.

Out of the eighteen bars that the colony is living on, I checked out eight of them. This colony is looking wonderful. They have everything that they need and they are growing well. I added four empty bars for them to build on. This was a quick and easy inspection. Since they are doing so well, I don’t need to go through the entire hive.

Now off to the Willow Hive to find out how they are doing. When I opened the window, I only saw five bees walking on the sides of the comb. Inside the lid there were two wasps still trying to build their nests. I wonder if the size of the colony is a deterrent to the wasps? Now that the Orchard Hive colony is so large it could be that the wasps don’t want to nest so close to them. With the Willow Hive being such a small colony, that makes them more vulnerable. I did knock down the two small nests being built.

As I was going through the hive, it was obvious that nothing has changed much. There is no queen nor is there an emergency queen cell on the bar of brood that I had given to them. There was a handful or so of capped drone brood left, but they were all dead. The bees had begun chewing off the caps and trying to remove them.

After seeing this, I decided that I am no longer going to interfere with this colony. For some reason they are not healthy enough to take care of what they need to take care off. I can’t justify buying another queen for them to kill her too. I am just going to let them live out their lives. In about a month the hive should be empty and I will clean it up and store it for next year.

I am continually learning from the bees. This year I am learning how to stand back and let them figure it out. The bees have been on this Earth a lot longer than we have and they know what they are doing. They don’t need us micromanaging them. It’s frustrating and sad not to be able to help them, but there is no sense in me trying to nurse a dying colony. It’s best to just let them live it out. I guess now I can put my energy into focusing on the Orchard Hive.

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