First year hive and I think I failed. Advice appreciated :(
Hey everybody, I’ll try to keep this quick.
First year beek here, installed a nuc in May in Southern California. The area I’m in is rather dearthy which I believe slowed the hive down quite a bit this year. On top of that, I failed to properly treat the hive for mites from about September to December. I did a mite check a few weeks ago and found a high mite count (10 mites in 1/2 cup of bees). I immediately added an apivar strip and have another treatment ready to go to follow .
At that time the hive had dwindled to about 4 frames of bees. I checked them last week and the bees appeared to either die off or abscond. There is now only about a half frame of bees at most and about a palm sized amount of brood. I didn’t see my Queen but it’s possible I missed her as there is brood (unless the workers are laying?) I’m pretty sure it’s over, but is my hive done for?
I’m going to get another nuc this spring to start another hive, but should this hive be dead, if I leave the box out as it is with comb and a few honey frames inside, is it possible a swarm would fill it this swarming season? Beekeeping has been tough for me and I need to do a better job this season.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.