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Time for a change...

Well, I have bad news to report. I went out to the hives in the gravel pit today. I had already looked at my own bees, which were buzzing happily in spite of 40 mile an hour winds. The temperature was near 60 degrees. As you all know, the hives in the gravel pit are sheltered from the wind, so they should have been buzzing nicely. As a approached all I noticed was dead silence. And I do mean dead. There was not one bee on any of the four hives. I couldn't believe it! How could all four hives be dead? We had new queens, old queens, vertical hives, horizontal hives and a new little split. We had managed them exactly the same as mine and I have at least four out of six alive and well. What happened? One theory I have is that this summer the gravel pit was active for almost two months for the first time since we have kept bees there. They were crushing concrete from a road construction project just a short way from the hives. As I looked at that huge pile of concrete sitting there, right near the hives, I began to wonder if there was a connection. My theory has always been that if all the hives die for no apparent reason in one location, the location must have a problem. Yes, we thought about varroa, but then remembered that even in the honey frames which had a lot of drone brood in them this year we did not even see one mite. We never saw one mite. So, what now? I made a decision to move the hives to my own property. I am still working out the details of my ideas. I want it accessible for field days. Stay tuned.

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