Did you know? Forager bees will fly about 500 miles before their wings wear out and they die. PBS Nature

For those of you who’ve been following our urban bee saga (Checking Bee Traps), late last night a friend of ours dropped off a feral colony he had caught. (Thanks, Janice, for the tip and, David, for picking them up.)

Every weekend the girls check the bee traps that we scattered throughout the lower Arroyo Seco.   So far, no luck. Even the massive wild colony in the old sycamore is no more.   With the onset of this serious “winter kill,” we were happy, indeed, to get a hold of this wild colony.

We’ve been hearing that it was a bad winter for local urban bees.  Hives are dying or disappearing.      There has been lots of speculation as to what’s causing the bees to  disappear. (Silent Spring)  Of course, after 30 years of keeping bees (10 of which have been in an urban environment), our hives disappearance has left us scratching our heads.

It’s good to see bees back on the ‘stead!   Hope they are here to stay!

The mysterious vanishing act has decimated approx. 40% of North America’s bee population. – Why Are Bees Dying?

What Causes Winter Kill
Overwintering Honey Bees


  1. jengod says:

    Oh I’m so happy you found a swarm! I was so sad you guys didn’t have bees.

  2. Kaigypsy says:

    I am alarmed at this happening in a bee friendly spot as your own yard. I am even more bothered by the fact that we have fruiting trees coming, especially our lemon tree and I have only seen a few bees. Did the weather kill off our wild colonies as well??

    I was going to wait to add Bees to the yard once the goats where well established & the new chicken coop built but perhaps I need to move that plan up to next year. I do not want to think about our Bee buddies disappearing and what we have left isn’t as busy or efficient.

    • Anais says:

      @Kaigypsy: Sorry to hear about your lack of our pollinating friends as well. Me neither. Tis a SCARY silent spring when there are loads of fruiting trees but no bees. One year we had to go around and be our own “bees” wielding q-tips!

  3. Monica says:

    It’s a scary thought thinking about losing honeybees. They are so important! I’m happy to hear your stock is getting replenished. Since experiencing my first bee sting (when I was young) my impulse is to swat at and run…now that I’m more aware of whats happening to bees everywhere…I just run. LOL And when I see a dead bee, I hope he died naturally.

    Have a buzzerific day!
    Monica ;0)

  4. Ginger says:

    Catching swarms is so fun. We got our first one last season. Unfortunately, it was too small to build up sufficiently to survive our very cold winter with many below 0 days. The ups and downs of bee keeping without chemicals or sugar water are usually pretty great, but I don’t like loosing a hive either. I am so glad you got the swarm. Hurray!

    • Anais says:

      @Ginger: Good luck to us both! Let’s hope this hive thrives and survives. 😉

  5. Nebraska Dave says:

    I glad to hear that once again the bee nest is full on the homestead. The last winter and spring has just been a littl odd in weather patterns and plants coming up way early this year. I’m not sure what to make of it all but I guess we will find out for sure as the summer unfolds.

    Have a great garden day.

    • Anais says:

      @Nebraska Dave: Always a crap shoot when it comes to weather and gardening!

    • Anais says:

      @Nebraska Dave: Yes indeed, we’ll see. Always a crap shoot when it comes to gardening and weather

  6. Dan says:

    Colony Collapse has been killing bees en mass for a few years now. According to the Organic Consumers Association this disorder is linked to a pesticide produced by Bayer containing a chemical called Imadacloprid.
    I’m glad that you have been able to get a new hive started. Best of luck!

    • Anais says:

      @Dan: Yeah, we read about that. It’s going to be a scary future indeed if there are no bees!

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