We took advantage of the nicer weather last Saturday and got a few things done outside. I filled the horse trough while Jack put in a few more maple taps. We fixed parts of the pasture fence and before heading in, took the opportunity to peak inside the bee hive. It was warm enough that they should have been trying to get out in search of water but we hadn't seen a single bee taking flight.
I stood back just in case (I am still keen on keeping my record of never being stung alive) but I wasn't very optimistic. Instead of combs of honey and chilly, slightly annoyed bees, there was nothing.
Those girls aren't alive unfortunately.
It was pretty apparent as Jack removed the boxes that they died from the cold winter--they just aren't accustomed to that kind of weather in this region. And though they built plenty of comb, there was barely a drop of honey left. There was also evidence of wretched hive beetles that are the bane of honeybees and a few patches of mildew that wouldn't have been good for them either.
It's sad--though I wasn't the beekeeper, they were still amazing to have around and we were looking forward to having another good harvest of honey. Jack's already started making calls to find new bees and we're crossing our fingers the ones who moved back into our house are alive and well. Spring will tell. For now, I'm tasked with painting the boxes so they're ready for the new bees.