I held my breath while I searched the hive but it was for nothing - the queen was dead. Perhaps I should write all of my blogs like I am writing a horror novel - it would be fitting.
I pulled the infested frames from the freezer on Friday in preparation for the weekend. I had planned to make a couple of splits and to gather honey but after I checked Hive-D.VSH at my house, I couldn't bring myself to keep going. The queen was dead. I did find two queen cells but one was very small and the other seemed damaged on the end.
|Frozen Beetle Larva|
There are (6) hives at Dr. D's place and (2) at the old farm. However, all but (3) of them seem to be in some sort of struggle.
Hive-A may have swarmed since I didn't give them much room to grow when last I was there.
Hive-C seems weaker than I've seen it in the past though it is still doing fair.
Hive-A.1.VSH has (3) boxes on it and, though I witnessed a fair amount of bees in them, I fear that the beetles may have taken them over like they did to my nucs.
Hive-D.3.VSH was struggling against the beetles when last I looked. I did remove frames and put in a beetle blaster and (5) drier sheets but the beetles are formidable.
Then there is the hives at the old farm that fell over last winter. I secured it but it might have absconded anyway.
Schrödinger's cat was meant to explain quantum mechanics (if you are like me, you leaned that on The Big Bang Theory) but it is also a brilliant way to describe why people freeze and fail to move forward - paralyzed by fear.
I think that is what happened to me this weekend. As long as I don't go to Dr. D's place, all of my hives are still alive. I completely get the insanity of this - however, realizing you have irrational fears doesn't make them go away.
I used ever excuse I could think of. It wasn't hard, since this was the first anniversary of Dale's death and my wife needed my attention more than the bees did. Then Sunday morning after working in the yard all day Saturday, my back went out. Of course the price of oil is down and the planets aren't in alignment either.
Believe it or not, I am actually thankful for all that has gone wrong this year - I have leaned more about bees this year than I have in the past decade. However, I am almost to the point of no return. That point where this year is lost and I have to begin thinking of next year. I am almost looking forward to that point in time. I will become a professional beekeeper eventually, of that I am positive. The only question is when.
So last night I put the frames back in the freezer and vowed to try again Wednesday. Who knows, maybe that's the day it will all start to turn around.