I was naive to think that all you had to do was put a stack of those white boxes in your yard and you would have happy bees to pollinate your garden vegetables and fruit trees. Who knew beekeeping was so complicated?! Fortunately Scott had basic knowledge before we started with our own hives. I confess it was all Greek to me in the beginning. Now that we have gone a full year, through all the seasons of bees, I have some understanding upon which to hang new information.
Winter is over and spring daytime temperatures average over 60 degrees. It's warm enough for beekeepers to inspect their hives and determine what they need. Scott found one of our hives dying of what we suspected was American Foulbrood. That's a really bad thing and we called the Wake Co Bee Inspector to come verify our diagnosis. By the way ... what a wonderful service provided by the NC Department of Agriculture! The visit and advice were free. He is fumigating our equipment for a nominal charge. He will revisit in a couple of weeks to make sure our other hives remain AFB-free and also follow up with the farmer from whom we got the bees. His assessment is that the bees had AFB when we got them last summer, so the farmer probably has other infected hives. The inspector's main job is to protect all the bees, and ultimately all the crops in NC that require pollination, from the devastating effects of this deadly bee disease.