I hope that I never become numb to the loss of animals. I hope that for all of my life that twinge of sadness permeates me and I grieve for each life lost. For I truly believe that once we stop aching for the loss of their lives, we are missing a very important part of our souls…
I hoped against hope and tried with every ounce of knowledge that I have to stop something from happening. I guess that even though the logical part of me knew that it was a long shot the bigger part of me really, really, really, wanted that logical part of me to be wrong. On Tuesday the weather had warmed into the mid 50’s and I went down to add a winter pattie to the hive. With the weather having been cold we hadn’t gone to check on them since we’d installed the insulation panels. The discovery I made was grim and yes, even though logically I knew it was probably coming, it still hurt. All my beautiful, gentle little girls were deceased. Most where in the bottom of the hive, some were head first into the comb, there was still capped honey there but I guess it just wasn’t where they were or needed it to be. I’ve spoken with a friend that is also a beekeeper and he lost two of his hives in recent days as well, I grieve for his girls too.
The odds were stacked against them heavily after the loss of most of their stores this fall and logically I knew that. I did everything I could to provide food and protection for them from this insane weather, in the end all I can do is learn from my mistakes and move on.
We had (yes we because Randy has now decided that he is more than willing to help and participate!) already decided that we’d be getting more bees this spring regardless of the girls making it or not. We are still toying with hive ideas, but since he has agreed to assist with it, we are going to be getting a Langstroth and possibly a Warre. Since we aren’t in this to be massive honey producer we have the options to try other hive designs. We also will be modifying the top bar hive that we have to incorporate some much needed improvements. Without the girls there we can now use the large tractor to work in the area, leveling off the ground and putting in place a nice level surface for all the hives, which means we will officially have an apiary!
We have much planning ahead of us and a lot of plants to move in the earliest days of Spring so right now we need the cold weather to return, the snow to blanket the ground and the heralds of Spring to continue their quiet sleep. Give us a chance to make sure that new and much improved homes will await our new arrivals and to make sure that we are on the right path to being the best Honey Bee Guardians we can be!