I was looking over some of the posts that I’ve made during the month of December as a reminder to myself of what to expect for the next month. I came across a post from last December where I describe noticing dead bees on the bottom boards of some of my hives.
Then I went outside today in the rain to take a quick look at my beehives and could hardly see any dead bees on the bottom boards. So… what’s up with that? November 2016, this year, was much warmer than last November. Does that have anything to do with it?
The bees in most of my hives at this time last year, when it was colder, were clustered well below the top bars and there were a fair number of dead bees on the bottom boards.
This year, with warmer temperatures, the bees in most of the hives are clustered close to or above the top bars, not down below where they usually go, and there are hardly any dead bees on the bottom boards.
Perhaps the warmer weather has the bees staying near the top of the hive and eating more honey, staying warmer and not dying off as quickly in the cold. Perhaps just as many bees are dying off this year, but because they’re up top, they’re getting clogged between the frames in the bottom deeps.
I don’t know. But I’m noting it now for my records… and I’ll gladly entertain any theories. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m overlooking something obvious.