Crocus Hive

Crocus Hive

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During its first year, Crocus superceded the package queen, successfully made two new queens, then swarmed 80 feet high into the air with one of the new queens.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Crocus successfully superceded their marked queen which came with the package, mated with local bees and overwintered their first year.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.

  1. Hello, Peeping Tom Neighbors! Yes, It Is Just Me In That Spacesuit
  2. My First Bee Swarm – Part 1 of 3
  3. Duct Tape, A Rock And A String Saved My Swarm – Part 2 of 3
  4. In Case You’re Wondering Bees Can Chew Through Garden Row Cover – Part 3 of 3
  5. I Have Eggs! I Have Eggs! Pop The Champagne!
  6. A Hive With Two Queens
  7. First Inspection Of The Two Queen Hive System
  8. Cutting Comb Is A Sticky Gooey Mess
  9. Inspecting The Two Queen Hive System
  10. I Love My Bees And It’s A Good Thing
  11. Come On Irene
  12. Bees On A Roof In A Hurricane
  13. The Bees Are Bearding
  14. Off With Her Head, Well Actually, Her Butt
  15. Bearding Bees Are Free To Bee
  16. So Many Bees, So Little Honey
  17. Ahhh Mites! Treating For Varroa Destructor
  18. Shhh…Don’t Tell The Bees
  19. I Want Candy! So Let’s Make A Candyboard For Winter Feeding
  20. Installing The Candy Board For Winter Feeding
  21. The Bees Are Enjoying Their New Candy Board
  22. The Bees Were Bringing In Pollen Today
  23. Wax Moths Ate My Plastic Foundation
  24. First Spring Hive Inspection Of An Overwintered Colony – March 12, 2012
  25. Hive Check 3-22-12
  26. Blue Pollen, Honeybees and Siberian Squill
  27. Hive Check 4-4-12
  28. Hive Check 4-13-12
  29. Three New Packages of Bees And Crocus Hive
  30. First Honey Super Of The Year Added To Crocus Hive 4-16-12
  31. Bee Package Installation – Don’t Forget The Cork!
  32. Crocus Hive Inspection 4-25-12 – The Uncapping Of The Drones
  33. Ditching The Drone Pupae And Local Swarms Abound
  34. Queen Cups With Eggs! – Crocus Hive Inspection 5-26-12
  35. One Honey Bound Hive And One Starving Hive
  36. Death Of A Hive: A Postmortem Analysis

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2 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I have learned so much from your site and appreciate you in-depth photo essay on the No Treatment Conference.

    Now I stumped. The Crocus Hive… Is this a Langstroth hive named Crocus or a Warre Hive named Crocus or is it a hive you have designed that is called the Crocus Hive. Please clarify.

    In the meantime, I have sent a couple of links out from your No Treatment Conference blog entry. And about to copy your description of the Housal Positioning to two university apiarist because it is the most straightforward and clearly written statement I have been able to find.

    Thank you for your skillful writing and your vivacious appetite for detailed infor and data on apiculture. Bravo.

    By the way, my web site features my jewelry line and not bees. It will be making a slow transition to bees and my new bee venture. I’ll send you an announcement when it’s completed.

    Thank you, Carol

  2. Hi Carol, I am glad you are enjoying my site! Crocus hive is a Langstroth hive named Crocus. All my hives are named after flowers bees forage upon. I guess I should make that more clear in the description, it is a little confusing. Thanks for sharing my website and passing it along, I really appreciate it. Are you getting bees this year? What type of hive are you starting? I wish you good luck in your new bee venture and can’t wait to read all about it on your website. Very exciting!