Honey Bees, A world of wonder and enjoyment just waiting for you to explore!
I love honey bees! WHAT? You heard me. I love honey bees!
Now I must admit that I was very nervous a few years back when I first took my future wife, on a date out to the country side, to a friends acreage just north of Excelsior Springs, MO. We had only been dating a few months and she had already told me that she was afraid of bugs, but I wanted to share every thing with her. You're on a honey bee web site so you know where this is going. Yes, I took her out to see my bee hives that I had near by.
To my joy she was willing to at least get out of the car and walk down the hill to see the hives. Of course she stood 50 foot away and would not come any closer. But I gave her credit for trying.
My disappointment came when I found that the two hives I had both starved at the beginning of spring. It had been a mild winter and the honey bees had been more active and had eaten all the honey. I had just restarted beekeeping again, and had paid $130 for each 3 pound box of honey bees. So you can imagine my disappointment in loosing two hives. Of course I believe that relief is what my future wife was feeling at the time.
Why am I telling you about dead honey bees?
Because it happens to the best of us. I'm not new to honey bees, I'm in my 50's and had first raised honey bees when I was in my teens. But I do want to let you know that yes, even with the best of intentions, we loose honey bees from all kinds of mistakes. My mistake was not feeding enough as they went into winter. In February I had seen them at the entrance of the hive. I didn't open the hive to check on the number of frames of honey left. I figured they had made it this far and the coldest part of winter was past. My mistake.
For the hobbyist beekeeper most would just give up at this point. And a lot do. Every year, around this time, bee clubs will hold new beekeepers class's. People will join the club. And they stay with their new hobby for a year or two. Then they are done. The bees died.
Don't let this stop You
Don't let this set back stop you. Try again! You already have the equipment at this point, so try something new. Try baiting your empty hive and seeing if you can catch a swarm. Free honey bees may be better than the box of bees you purchased. These honey bees are survivors from local stock that made it through the winter.
Don't tell me that all the feral honey bees have died. I see way to many honey bees at the local gas stations trash cans looking for the sweet syrup of spilled soda pop. If you lost your honey bees don't give up. I have been in and out of the beekeeping hobby/business for a number of reasons. Mainly because I would move across country or live in a town where honey bees are not allowed, but that's another story.
Just don't let it stop you from enjoying honey bees.