After successfully overwintering our bees we went out to feed them today and found that in just a few days the hive had been completely decimated and the last of the bees had absconded. It was devastating to us. We thought that it had been one of the skunks that the dogs had been chasing off, but after closer inspection we found that in our haste to move last winter we had failed to put in the reducer (which reduces the hole at the bottom to a size that only one bee can get through at a time). As the last few days have given us warmer weather it had also brought a field mouse in, which had feasted on all of the new grubs leaving nothing but the leftover honey in its wake. Now we do the thing that farmers do when nature destroys a part of your income. You regroup, check your budget, move some things around (like cancelling a trip to a sustainability fair and moving an unnecessary doctors appointment for a much later date) and order another hive. Sigh. C’est la vie.