To our dismay (but not surprise) neither of our hives survived the winter. We’ve heard that a lot of RI beekeepers lost hives, perhaps because many of us have southern bees—ours came from Georgia last spring. The two colonies were never very robust, and this winter was bitter cold, so perhaps they didn’t stand a chance.
This year we are buying northern bees—a nuc (with an already active queen). We are getting them through an interesting new store in Providence called Cluck. The store’s owner will make the trip to a Vermont apiary in the middle of a May night. This way all the working bees will have returned to their hives, and will wake up (hopefully) to a new home in RI. We will try to do better by them.