I pulled less honey that I did last year, but more than I expected given my losses. Until this year, I have always made nucleus hives to replace those losses. But this year when the time came to make nucs, none of the hives was strong enough. So the hives I may lose this year cannot be replaced. Forty-four percent of US hives died last year. The year before that, it was 42%.
As I flounder about for hope and any inkling that things will get better, I've learned a few more things. The pesticide and herbicide companies say that honeybees will learn to avoid plants that have been sprayed. Even though it seems these days that scientists will say just about anything they're paid to say, I'd really like to believe that one. But almost as soon as I read that article, I found another study that reported bees actually are attracted to neonicitinoids! Arrrrgh!!
Then I learned that bees are loyal to flowers. "They remain faithful to a productive plant species until it stops flowering. Bees are also loyal to locations. They recruit other bees in their community to fly to the chosen food sources using their dances." Could this be why some of my hives thrived and did well while almost half of them died? Was it because they went to different locations to forage?
If so, will they pass on this location loyalty to their hive mates for next year? I know, wishful thinking.