Some of the research about the decline of the honeybee is looking at genetics, looking at what makes a good hive good. I have two such hives in my backyard In Spring Summer and fall, they are active in the morning and long into the evening gathering food. They clean the hive, (I see the debris that they clean out just outside the entrance) The queen lays lots of larvae, the hive is sealed with propolis to prevent drafts and intruders. And the bees groom each other, cleaning off the varroa.

There are many things that bee keepers do to help their bees and it is as individualistic as each person who takes on the challenge. Some things I do is to  help ensure the hives stay out of the wet, so I have the hives raised and in a place that gets sunlight. I always make sure that they have enough food, protection from hungry mice, and watch for signs that show that the bees may be sick and know what has to be done to help them so  they don’t spread their sickness.

So I try and console myself by saying that even though the hives seemed strong, but now I can see something was wrong. Could it be something in their genetics? Perhaps letting them die and the strong survive can have a positive effect in the long run. I will order new bees for the hives at ARMS and  I hope the few remaining hives in my backyard are there when I puff a breath in the entrance.. Puff Puff Puff…the snowdrops are pushing up through the frozen ground, spring is just around the corner…..and I am hopeful that the surviving bees will be out to collect their nectar and pollen as early as February!


– Loretta Jackson

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One Comment

  • Geoff Clayton says:

    Thanks Loretta for sharing your story and your bee connection to our educational program which would bee so much less without you.


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