“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft Corporation, Philanthropist, Humanitarian
Let me start out by apologizing for the blog silence for the past months. When life gets crazy, projects fall by the wayside and the blog was one of them. Though writing about my adventure into beekeeping was briefly abandoned, I did not abandon my bees.
That being said, I have to admit that my adventure took a gloomy turn… neither one of my two hives made it through the rough perils of winter.
The sad details…
Queen Beatrice’s hive going into the fall was not thriving. Their stores were low and, despite my efforts to provide them with large amounts of feed, they did not thrive. Their hive piddled out even before needing to winterize. A look into the hive showed that their cupboards were bare.
On the other side of the beeyard, Queen Maude’s hive was doing well, though in my opinion, a little light on their stores, so I fed them some syrup. I winterized her hive with a notched inner cover, moisture board, winter wrap, mouse guard and some winter patties. I thought I was doing everything right: making sure they had a stash of food and blocking them from the elements as best as I could. Unfortunately, when I put my ear to the hive recently, I was greeted only with silence. I had lost my second colony.
It’s not failure, it’s a lesson.
I don’t like feeling defeated, and at the loss of my hives, I certainly felt that way. When I went to break the news to a few other beekeepers, I thought I should be scolded. I obviously must have pulled some major beekeeping fails to have lost BOTH hives. The feeling of losing my hard work and bond with my bees wasn’t enough; I thought I should be shamed as well.
Well, the truth is I was not scolded, shamed or otherwise. In fact, I was met with quite a few sympathetic, “That’s part of beekeeping.” Statements like that made me realize I wasn’t alone in losing hives and, in fact, I should look at the loss as one of the greatest lessons I will learn in beekeeping: sometimes you can do everything you think is right and still nature will have other plans. It reminded me of the beginning of my adventures in beekeeping. I knew then that I would make mistakes and I would learn from them. I can’t abandon that logic, especially not now when things appear gloomy.
Get back up and dust yourself off.
I can’t say that I’m not still a little blue at saying goodbye to Queen Beatrice and Queen Maude. They’ve left me with wonderful experiences, a boatload of knowledge and an awesome respect for bees and beekeeping. Now wouldn’t it be a shame if I didn’t take that knowledge and add to it? Time to dust off and prepare for another adventure in beekeeping!
Don’t be a stranger! I’d love to hear how everyone fared this turbulent winter! Drop me a comment below!