With our balmy Iowa weather, I thought today would be good for housekeeping. I took my bee brush and frame ‘grabber’ to the backyard to clean out the hives.
I knew the hive had died when I checked them after our second sub-zero spell, the one with all the wind. They look alive, but in fact, they froze in their tracks. Up close:
Most of the honeybees were clustered around the food I had provided. This frame was just underneath the food. You can see some of the sugar grains fell on the cells. I spent some time sweeping the dead bees out and rearranging the frames for the package I plan to install in late April.
I was also able to bring this frame indoors.
The silk you see comes from the larvae of wax moths making their cocoons. I set the frame outdoors because freezing temps will kill any remaining eggs. I can now re-use this frame of comb. A closer look for the curious:
And while I am sad about the loss of this hive, I am looking forward with much hope to installing the packages I ordered this April.