Year 3, one hive.
1st year - mites and hive did not make winter
2nd year - wrapped boxes in black tar paper for winter warmth however on a warm winter spring day the bees left the hive to return and not be able to re-enter. Bees died and really sucked to say the least.
3rd year - 2015 - Bought new bees and queen in spring and by June it was the best, strongest hive I've ever had. Mid-June my second super was filled with honey and they were starting the 3rd box. Then one day I go outside and the bees were circling in a big cyclone that kept getting bigger and bigger. Called my master bee keeper and was informed the bees were swarming. They swarm (queen leaves and takes half the hive) to further help populate. The hive is so strong they try and split to increase survival. They also take half the honey. I tried recapturing the queen, for the workers will follow, but she was too high up in a tree. With half the workers and half the honey gone, I had to wait for a new queen to be made. Thankfully a new queen was made, but by late fall they just began filling the 3rd box. They now sit for the winter and no honey collected for home use. Hopefully they survive the upcoming winter. The amazing bee. I really enjoy watching them but boy is it an expensive and involved hobby - family does use honey on a daily basis so, Lord willing I get two strong hives going next year.
The amazing, wonderful bee. All about maintaining hives, collecting honey, treating mites and wax moth control.
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