Beekeeping sometimes makes a beekeeper feel helpless. One can only help the hives along, ultimately, the bees control their own destiny. Of our 4 hives that overwintered, only one (3) lived through it. The other 5 all died out. Had to get new packages (see white cages in front of hives). I think part of the problem was the strange winter…the bees couldn’t get on a proper cycle (very unscientific thought).
After the spring harvest, 2 h1ves (4,5) had unproductive queens and 1 hive (3) lost it’s queen. Usually the workers create a new queen to supersede the old one, but this never happened. Hives 4 & 5 never took the new queens I supplied and finally died out (no queen, no new bees). Hive 3 had laying workers (a bad thing). The new queens I tried were killed. I finally got a new, active hive box and put it on top of 3 and the new bees and queen were able to overcome (kill) the laying workers. Now that hive is very strong.
We’ll see how the rest of the season goes and how well the hives will do this winter.