My first year of beekeeping my hive died in the winter. We had an exceptionally cold December, and the girls starved. In the video I had three rookie mistakes that you might run into.
1) Invaders. A family of mice invaded the hive and loved the warm temperature.
2) Wrong number of Frames. I bought a hive off Craigslist, and did not count the number of frames in the bottom box. There was only 9 frames, and there’s suppose to be 10. That allowed the bees to build out a lot of unwanted wax and bracing comb that makes things more difficult to manage for the beekeeper.
3) Swarm. Most likely I had a swarm, as evidenced by the Queen cell that I show in the video. What does that mean? The population of the hive is cut in half when the new Queen arrives and the old Queen swarms. Lower population = less heat in the cold = dead bees.
The video is pretty self explanatory. It covers some winter maintenance and painting and cleaning out a dirty hive.[iframe: src=”http://player.vimeo.com/video/3329152″ width=”400″ height=”300″ frameborder=”0″]
Feel free to leave a comment or question below and I’ll try and get back to you as soon as I’m able.