Earlier in the winter we had a pretty nasty storm. It was windy, and rainy, and mild. My bees are set up in a good spot out in the yard. They're protected by trees, and I've never had a problem with the wind taking the top off before, so I didn't think twice about it when I heard about the storm we were expecting.
All I can say is, I learned my lesson. You can never be too sure.
The top came off the hive, and rain got in.
I didn't realize this until the next day, because the storm happened at night. I ran out and covered it back up, just hoping for the best. It's best not to even open up the hive during the winter because you don't want to disturb the cluster they go into. So I didn't take the hive apart to check on them. I had a feeling they weren't doing well though, because when I tapped the hive, there was no buzzing back at me.
Today I finally opened it up. It's been warm, and I know that I would've seen at least a couple bees flying around, and since I haven't, I had to take a look.
Zero bees made it. None. Nata. Such a bummer.
I did manage to get 17 jars of honey out of the hive, but as far as my bees, I have to start from scratch. Here I am, trying to help the bee population, and instead - I'm murdering them.
Not sure if I'll get more bees this spring or not. It depends on who's shipping them. I did learn my lesson, and as hard it is, I'm sure I'll be learning more along the way.
If I would've kept all the honey that was available in the hive, I would've had 3 times as much. But some cappings were discoloured, and I just didn't trust it. So the 17 jars I got, was from the prefect looking frames only. Crazy.