March Honeybee Date

I saw this on Facebook…

Honeybee cartoon

Chilling isn’t it?   I’ve been watching my two hives closely this past two weeks because one has had very little activity outside of the hive while the other has been rockin’!   Here’s my Hive No. 1.  Looking good!!   I went out at 10:00 pm last night and inserted the device that holds the jar of sugar water.  I’d tried to insert it earlier that day, but my mean little pets did not understand my interest.   They will have a change of heart once they fully discover the wonder of wonders in the honeybee world…SUGAR WATER! They will restart their love affair with my visits to the hive. “She’s here! She’s here!”

Hive No. 1

But Hive No. 2 looked nothing like Hive No. 1…15 bees at the most flying around, and that was a surprise as I had not seen any yesterday when it was 58 degrees.    I thought these bees were probably from Hive No. 1 and were over robbing what I suspected to be a dead hive.   This was so depressing. I felt I’d lost my dog and now my bees within a ten-day period.  However, this morning I did see pollen being carried inside with the very few bees entering Hive No. 2.     I hopped on the bee mobile (golf cart) for a visit with my brother-in-law and bee partner, Gerald Booher, to put our antennaes together and figure out what is going on.

I hinted “I’m just dying to look inside that hive.”  He said, “let’s go!”  Whew!  That was almost too easy.  We both had the same sinking feeling as we suited up to open the hive.  Neither Gerald nor I thought we’d see bees in the hive.

Here’s what we found.  Would this many bees be typical in a hive that was being robbed? We do not know.

Hive No. 2

We pulled another frame. More bees.

Hive No. 2 again

Another…we’re looking closely for the queen. We did see one large bee, but she really didn’t look long enough to be the queen. When you first get the queen, she has a big colored dot on her that makes her easy to find. That was months ago, however, and her dot has probably worn off. Gerald said “if we move slowly, they’ll be nice.” They were!

Hive No. 2 again again

So, at the end of the hour that we spent messing with the bees we know  Hive No. 2 does have bees, but we are uncertain if there is a queen. If there is no queen, and there is no queen cell (and we did not see one), the hive will die. We are going back in and looking again in a week. If the hive continues to look weak, we’ll take a queen cell from Hive No. 1 and a couple of frames of bees and move them to the hive that is dying. We’ll see if we can restart that hive.

The upside of all this is that Hive No. 1 is really strong.

Do you have a place for bees in your yard? If not, you might want to make your own date with a honeybee. You should not get bees to make money. You will be disappointed. You really shouldn’t get bees expecting honey but that could happen, and you’ll be thrilled (as will all your honey loving friends). You should get bees because of what the cartoon says.

Honeybee cartoon


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  1. I’m such a bad naturalist! I just want your honey!!! My neighbor has bees and they are constantly at our house scaring all our grandkids! And we have a salt water pool which they try to drink from and I know it probably kills them! (the bees I mean) What to do???

    • Gayle…I read about that. Saltwater actually attracts bees, and unless they drown in it by accident, it’s not harmful to them. You are providing a benefit to the bee world! You are a heroine! 🙂

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