Not too long after we collected the honey from the hive we had a small cold snap. A big drop in temperature and a little snow. We didn’t think much of it but when the snow melted and it warmed up we saw bees starting to swarm and fight over the hummingbird feeder. They were knocking each other off the feeder trying to get to the sugar water. It then dawned on us that the bees were stressed out thinking winter had arrived and they may be short some honey to sustain themselves over the winter even though they had plenty of stores left.
A couple days later the whole colony swarmed and left the hive. The queen apparently felt they were not prepared for winter so they left to find a better place. This left us with no more bees. It was too late to get any more this year. This means no honey for another 2 years. Very disappointing. It seems like bees are just so hard to keep in the high plains dessert. All we can do is wait until next year to buy more hives and catch some swarms to start all over again.
You can watch the fight on the farm’s YouTube Channel: