I’m heading into winter with only two colonies. Just as I was getting hopeful about the smaller colony with the newly emerged queen getting established, that poor colony got robbed by the daughter colony.
I moved the colony away from the apiary and fed them, which seemed to revive the bees. I was advised to give them another week to see if the colony could be saved, but when I went back the following week, the situation was even worse. There were very few surviving bees left, most had been killed. There were dismembered bits of bees all over the nuc box.
Unfortunately I’d brought a friend with me who was interested in bees and had that romanticised idea of beekeeping (which perhaps some of us have before we get into the realities of beekeeping) and this situation certainly showed the brutal side to bees.
My colonies are to be inspected by an association member this weekend. I’m looking forward to showing him the new site I’ll be moving them to and pick up some suggestions for improvement in management.