Crocus is a Langstroth hive named for the beautiful orange pollen the girls like to collect in the early spring. This hive started from a package, originating in Georgia, in April 2011 and was put into a 10 frame Langstroth hive using wooden frames and plastic Pierco foundation coated with wax. This is a rooftop hive.
During its first year, Crocus superceded the package queen, successfully made two new queens, then swarmed 80 feet high into the air with one of the new queens. With luck and determination, I was able to retrieve the swarm and used it to maintain a two queen hive system for the summer before merging the two hives into one in the fall.
Crocus overwintered on 18 frames their first year. In 2011, they preferred to draw burr comb on the plastic foundation instead of completing the frames. The girls did not produce any extra honey their first year and required excess feeding due to problems with queen supercedure and swarming. A candy board was installed to help them survive the winter. This hive is very gentle and has a wonderful temperament. I am able to inspect without gloves and often without smoke and the girls don’t mind. They also like to fly in the pouring rain – crazy bees!
Crocus successfully superceded their marked queen which came with the package, mated with local bees and overwintered their first year. This hive was treated with Apiguard in fall 2011 and Fumigilian in Spring 2011 before I changed to treatment free management.
During year two in the apiary, Crocus had problems with starvation and brood removal in the early spring. This hive was not fed in the spring after the candy board was removed in March 2012. The first honey super of the year was added 4-16-12 and drawn out 6-15-12. Honey added and capped. The second honey super added 6-30-12. Drawn 8-1-12. Honey added and capped.
On 9-6-12 bees had eaten much of the capped honey in the honey supers and only had 1 frame of capped honey in the deep frames. Honey supers were removed and the bees were fed sugar syrup to build up stores in the deep frames for the winter. The honey super was given to another hive with excess stores, Willow, in the hopes it would fill it up so I could return the filled honey super to Crocus for the winter.
In October 2012, the town sprayed near this apiary with Duet Mosquito Spray. Despite taking the prescribed precautions of covering the hive, in November 2012 this hive collapsed and died from a combination of mosquito spray and varroa. Bees were sent away for analysis. They had no diseases but the final varroa count was 27.3 mites per 100 bees. Stings last year: 2 Stings this year: 3
Below are the list of posts detailing the history of the Crocus Hive from the beginning.
- Hello, Peeping Tom Neighbors! Yes, It Is Just Me In That Spacesuit
- My First Bee Swarm – Part 1 of 3
- Duct Tape, A Rock And A String Saved My Swarm – Part 2 of 3
- In Case You’re Wondering Bees Can Chew Through Garden Row Cover – Part 3 of 3
- I Have Eggs! I Have Eggs! Pop The Champagne!
- A Hive With Two Queens
- First Inspection Of The Two Queen Hive System
- Cutting Comb Is A Sticky Gooey Mess
- Inspecting The Two Queen Hive System
- I Love My Bees And It’s A Good Thing
- Come On Irene
- Bees On A Roof In A Hurricane
- The Bees Are Bearding
- Off With Her Head, Well Actually, Her Butt
- Bearding Bees Are Free To Bee
- So Many Bees, So Little Honey
- Ahhh Mites! Treating For Varroa Destructor
- Shhh…Don’t Tell The Bees
- I Want Candy! So Let’s Make A Candyboard For Winter Feeding
- Installing The Candy Board For Winter Feeding
- The Bees Are Enjoying Their New Candy Board
- The Bees Were Bringing In Pollen Today
- Wax Moths Ate My Plastic Foundation
- First Spring Hive Inspection Of An Overwintered Colony – March 12, 2012
- Hive Check 3-22-12
- Blue Pollen, Honeybees and Siberian Squill
- Hive Check 4-4-12
- Hive Check 4-13-12
- Three New Packages of Bees And Crocus Hive
- First Honey Super Of The Year Added To Crocus Hive 4-16-12
- Bee Package Installation – Don’t Forget The Cork!
- Crocus Hive Inspection 4-25-12 – The Uncapping Of The Drones
- Ditching The Drone Pupae And Local Swarms Abound
- Queen Cups With Eggs! – Crocus Hive Inspection 5-26-12
- One Honey Bound Hive And One Starving Hive
- Death Of A Hive: A Postmortem Analysis