That cold wet weather we had, did do some damage to one hive.
In one hive the Queen was laying eggs beyond the area that the bees could cover(keep warm) as they clustered together during the cold snap. The bees could not keep the larvae warm enough on the outside edge of the cluster. So I saw several hundred dead larvae at the edge of the cluster. And no telling how many eggs were chilled enough to die.
The Queen from this hive struggled from the very start and then we got hit with the cold wet weather. But a short time after that she kicked into high gear and is laying very well. I was almost ready to replace her with a new queen. But it's all good now.
This is great stuff!! I am glad there are people doing what you and others are doing. I know some do it for many various reasons. Hobby, business, or just to have some honey, it doesn't matter. I am just glad you are helping to produce bees.
I saw on the news the other day that honey bees are responsible for pollinating 1/3 of all our crops. Without them we would be in a world of hurt. The news story was all about why are the bees disappearing in the wild. They said it could be the residue from pesticides affecting them or some kind of disease or even a combination of both that is affecting their immune system and their ability to fight disease, fungus, bacteria etc.I do not think they know why yet.
A world without honey bees would be sad. Even worse it would more than likely lead to massive food shortages or higher prices due to a shortage in supply and larger demand.
I am not sure how many crops your bees will pollinate but I am sure it will be 100's of thousands.
There are Federal and State grants out there for just about everything now days and some are just plain stupid. I am not sure if there is a grant to pay or assist in starting up a bee hive but that one would make sense to me knowing that 1/3 of all crops are pollinated by honey bees. Sounds like a USDA grant opportunity to me.
It doesn't sound like scientist are any closer now than they were 3 years ago to figuring out why the bees are dying. So knowing the bees are dying means we will need to produce more bees to hopefully replace the ones we are losing. That's easy math.
So hats off to any one raising bees for any reason. There is so much great info out there on so many levels. Books, internet etc to learn how to raise bees. I did a lot of reading and watching videos online this winter after Classicfur started this post.
I realized the more I learned about bees the less I knew. If there is a \"Raising Bees for Dummies\" I would buy it for my own personal use. I may give raising bees a try soon.