My husband is grieving. His beehive was taken over by small hive beetles, who appear to have driven out the queen and company. About a month ago the hive was thriving. They must've swarmed when we weren't looking. Now everybody is gone but a few stragglers.
I told him I could relate after losing Madelyn the hen, awhile back, when she brooded (no fertile eggs, no rooster), and starved to death. We didn't know the potential for a problem with her....or that we could take her out of the nesting box and redirect her behavior.
Same with the bees. We saw a few beetles hanging around, not realizing they would ruin the hive.
At Easter or so we had a swarm, but were able to grab it and put it into our second hive. Then off one of them went again.
Like friends we have who love ducks. Nice comfortable farm animals, but they fly away.
Those of you with bees now and in the past, advice readily accepted. Cathy and Mary Kathryn...we're open for suggestions so we can be better prepared in the future. As it is now, spring is as soon as we can buy more bees, but have to treat the contamination first, I reckon.
Not as bad as having a pet lost, but still tugs at your heart.
Update: A neighbor down the street is fighting these beetles in their hives too. So sad and frustrating.