It's a sad day in the apiary. I lost Lone Star.
I was worried about them last time I visited. They just weren't thriving. Not enough honey, not enough bees. Yesterday, there was LOTS of activity. Bad sign. Today I looked in and no bees. The combs were all chewed up and the bottom filled with wax cappings and dead bees.
I went into Raven as well, and they were not nearly as aggressive as they were last time I went in. They have lots of honey, lots of pollen, and a fair amount of larva. Didn't see the queen or any eggs, but they look well set for winter.
I'll go in tomorrow and clean out the cappings, take the combs and put them in the freezer a few at a time to get rid of any pests. Then hang them up in the workshop to keep them safe til next spring. We shall fly again!
I took the opportunity to put hooks in both hives so I can weigh them to learn how they are doing without going in and bothering them.
Lone Star, with no honey and no bees, weighed 10 pounds.
Raven, with lots of honey and pollen and brood, weighed 18 pounds. Sigh. And Raven is the hive that I have the most difficulty with. Oddly enough, today they were not aggressive at all.
Somebody stung the hell out of the back of my knee today. I don't think it was a bee, but maybe it was. It is very big and red. But doesn't hurt. I dunno if it was the bees or if a spider somehow got in up there. Puzzled.