Running 7 hives. All good this year in the spring, did have two of them loose their queen but they replaced her on their own. I suspected was also having Queen issues in a 3rd hive but not confirmed.
New this year for me is SHB in two hives, not a lot of them just new pest. I treat formic acid for mites in the early spring.
Not a good year for honey production, as my supers were almost empty. I was thinking it was just a bad summer in my area. I pulled the supers in late Aug so they would have time for creating winter stores.
Had some issues and did not check on the hives as much as I should have thru the summer and then not at all after I pulled the supers. When to checked on them late Oct and found 5 of them gone.
No dead bees, no stores – just empty. The other 2 are also very small clusters not the normal mass of bees I have this time of year.
Mostly thinking that the bees got into some pesticide somewhere or absconded.
Next year I am going to move my hives that are currently in the middle of the woods to a location on the edge of a field with more direct sunlight.
What are some of the reasons I should be looking at for absconded bees or other clues to look for?