Ken has had bees for years. At first having bees was fairly easy – hive checks, routine maintenance, taking off honey, preparing for winter , and such.
Then he started losing bees, and it has been a struggle to maintain a healthy hive.
Large honey producers ship hives south and west for the winter. People are paid to pollinate crops like almonds in California.
Many bees in one location with not many pollen and nectar choices is like an urban tenement with malnutrition and disease. Other bee keepers use chemistry to kill parasites. Ken checks for mites.
Last year he lost his bees, and I bought a Minnesota over wintered box of bees. After a week, Ken checked his bees and he seemed a bit less calm than usual.
They had filled his box and had he not checked they would probably swarm. So he added a super – an additional box and more frames.
So far so good!