The other day was the first chance I had had in about a month to get up to the apiaries and check out all of the hives, make sure they all had stores etc.
The overall count going into the winter was 11 hives, split over three different sites.
Unfortunately I’ve lost three over the winter, my first winter losses. I need to go through and confirm why, but from a first look it appears to be isolation starvation. All three losses were from one particular site and so now I am putting it down to beekeeper error.
There is a saying that cold doesn’t kill bees, but that moisture does. In this case though I think the site (too exposed in hindsight) meant that they were stuck, cold, in a cluster, close to food but unable to get to it.
The next night we moved the hives around so they are all less exposed.
Hopefully spring will kick in soon and then we can get back to building colonies and raising strong healthy bees.