Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where are the Bees?

Bee populations fluctuate greatly throughout the year, usually peaking in early summer and decreasing with the temperature outside. As long as a colony can keep the queen alive through the harsh winter months, the hive will usually recover. This is normal.

But recently, something happened to many of our bees.

This week, Animal Care Staff discovered that a large number of bees in our observation hive had died. Since there have been continuing losses, we are covering the hive to allow the remaining bees to conserve the heat generated by the workers.

This is not uncommon. Bee colonies often have trouble and not all hives survive the winter. Still, we are very disappointed that what seemed to be a strong and promising hive, now appears to be unlikely to survive.

Installing new bees during the winter months when food sources are scarce is not a good idea. We plan to wait until April 2013 to replace this group if they do not survive. Stay tuned.

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