​Adopt-A-Hive​: Quarterly Update

​​Quarter 4 - ​2018

​By ​Bear Country Bees

​Last quarter presented some great opportunities as well as some challenges for Smokey, the name we’ve affectionately given to your adopted beehive. (In case you didn’t know, all of our beehives are named after famous bears) :)

First, let’s lay out the bad news. Shortly before you adopted Smokey, the bees we had inside did not survive. Despite all we could do, the bees succumbed to Colony Collapse Disorder (a prevalent honey bee condition with unknown causes). While this is a sad end for this colony and we hate losing honey bees, it’s also part of the natural cycle of beekeeping. The most important thing is that we learn what we can from each colony and work to come up with solutions to problems such as Colony Collapse Disorder.

​Now, the good news. In a few months, we will be putting a brand new colony of bees inside of Smokey! We’ll get a fresh set of bees (most likely in a 3 lb. bee package from California) sometime between mid-April and mid-May. We will then install that package in Smokey and help the bees make their home inside. We’ll even shoot a video of the installation process and will include it in one of our future quarterly updates so you can watch.

​Did you know?

​Honey bees bundle together tightly during the winter to keep warm, creating the winter cluster. Bees on the outside burrow to the center of the cluster to keep warm. This rotation cycle continues all winter long!

Before we get the new bees, we’ll do a thorough clean-up of the hive to make sure it’s as hygienic as possible. We paint the insides of the hive every year as it helps seal in any diseases, pesticides, or other harmful substances and makes a new, clean home for your bees to reside in.

Once we get the new bees into Smokey, we will place the hive in a safe location in or near a backyard garden where they can live and operate undisturbed. The neighbors love having your bees around to help pollinate their gardens. :) We’ll check them every few weeks to make sure the bees are building wax and storing honey, as well as ensuring that the new bees inside receive any needed treatment. We’ll do everything we can to give your hive the best possible care!

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​If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.

​- Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee

​Other Things You Can Do To Help The Bees

  • ​Plant a bee-friendly garden.Sowing bee-friendly ​seeds in a garden or even a planter box​ ​can be an easy and inexpensive way to provide bees with a safe haven. ​​​Try out a ​mixture such as this one: Wild ​Flower Mix - Honey Bee Mixture.
  • ​Report honey bee swarms to a local beekeeper.Most people tend to panic when they see honey bees but ​swarming is ​the time when honey bees are the most docile. Instead of spraying the bees or calling an exterminator, please contact a local beekeeper to help relocate the colony to a safer place.
  • ​Share ​your Adopt-A-Hive experience​.One of the best ​ways you can ​help more honey bees is spread the word about ​our Adopt-A-Hive program. The more adoptions we have, the better we can care for the needs of the bees​​ and the more honey bee research we can perform!
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