Thanks brother. Most of the farming in and around Mancelona is potato farming. Thousands of acres of it. However, my bees are several miles from that. The only thing I've seen in the area are small gardens that are near enough to my hives but nobody plants up there until about the 2nd week of June. There is tons of star thistle in the area which makes me wonder if some sort of irradication program is going on, but again, I've heard nothing about that starting, or if it is even going to happen as of yet. I know there's talk. It remains a mystery so far.
You'll have to enlighten me on COMB. Never heard of the joint.
I guess only one hive was affected because either a: those were the only bees that found it, or b: the other bees didn't make it back to their hive alive.
These were package carniolan bees I bought from Dave.
The 12, 11 now, colonies are in a small clearing amongst the pines on my sister's property. They sit relatively close to each other in groupings of 2. Indeed, the hive 1 foot away is doing just dandy!
My sis removed the hive from the apiary today so I don't have to worry about the other bees getting in there. I'll bring the hive home with me this weekend and get rid of the comb and foundation to make it ready for re-use. I will investigate whatever steps I must take before putting it back into the rotation however.
On a side note, the picture you see as my avatar is one of my honeybees up in Mancelona on a star thistle bloom.