2020 was a rough year for everyone. Covid-19 changed our lives in many different ways. The daily commute to work was replaced by working at home - being somewhat isolated. Not having to commute an hour each way to work was really a blessing - but the extra time saved didn't seem to add up to give me more time to do things I want to do. As of December 31, 2020 I have officially retired! Now I have all the time in the world to become a full time beekeeper and ensure the bees are properly taken care of.
I neglected the bees last year. I made the mistake of assuming they have plenty of stores for the winter. Since I didn't take any honey I "assumed" they would have plenty to last the winter. I was wrong. It was a devastating year.
I started the winter with 10 hives. I ended up with two surviving the winter. 8 didn't make it. Not because of mites, or any other reason - other than not having enough food to keep them alive. I went through each hive and found a large number of bees that had simply died from not having food to keep them going. A careless mistake of not taking the time to ensure they had sufficient food supplies to last the winter. A mistake I will never make again.
I spent the day yesterday cleaning up all the hives. I painted each one and got them ready for new bees. I will be heading down to Georgia to Fat Bee Man's to pick up some of his high quality, calm, manageable bees. I have to build my apiary back up and move forward.