We were fortunate to have Greg Rogers, a local professional beekeeper, to speak at our February meeting of the Smoky Mountain Beekeepers. Greg manages over 300 hundred hives and, like most beekeepers, is experiencing losses. He spoke of treating his hives with chemicals and also using softer treatments. The losses continue with both. I'm not sure there is a good answer to the ailments bees are facing right now. I will continue to treat organically. So far, my hive seems to be holding it's own. I know the numbers are small, but they are surviving this very cold winter and on days when the temperature permits, are out flying vigorously. Another cold, snowy week is forecast. Greg also demonstrated how to split a hive. I plan to do this in the spring if my hive is strong enough. I'm going to let them raise their own queen. I'm not keeping bees for honey production, but rather for pollination purposes. I don't mind if I lose some time while they are raising the new queen.
Chart of bee growth for all castes
8 hours ago