Showing posts from 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the--well, you know the rest

First the good!  We've had two harvests so far this year, with about 60 lbs. of honey the first time, in early July, and this week another 100 lbs.  The fall honey was darker, but still very sweet.  We extracted 29 frames this harvest and returned a number of frames to the hives that just weren't quite "cured" yet and didn't want to add that higher moisture honey into the mix.  We'll see if we get a goldenrod harvest but I think this honey will just be placed down into the hives to help prepare for winter.
Currently, we have 5 hives (I combined the swarm hive with one of my splits that just didn't take off quite as well as the others.)  We put the queen from the split hive into a nuc.  Now that honey supers are mostly off, I'll get in and take a look to make sure we have a queen in each going into fall.  From the numbers of bees hanging around on warm days, I think we are good with queens in each hive.

Now for the bad.  De-capping the frames, Kathy f…

Bees Are Booming!

Although we made it through  a fairly mild winter with all 3 hives, we did lose one to a cold week in early April.  I  could have prevented this by putting liquid feed on top of the hive.  The patties just did not provide the kind of nutrition they needed since they were building brood quickly.  I will try not to make  this mistake again.  The other  two hives, though, seemingly just as strong, made it  through just fine.
Two weeks ago I did a split from each of the two strong hives.  Both splits seem to be doing well and when I inspected yesterday, one has a young queen.   I don't know if she has mated or not.   Her abdomen is still fairly small.  I have a queen cell  in the other split so  hopefully a queen will develop there  as well.
I moved the swarm trap I made last year from a neaby pine tree, which has died over the winter.  I placed it on the fence behind the  row of hives.  I placed a cotton swab with a good dose of lemongrass oil on it.  When I went to inspect hives yes…
Hi. I know it's been awhile since my last post.  It is a very warm February 17th, with possible record highs around 70.  Unusual winter weather is now the new normal.  It has been well above normal for a week and will continue well into next week.  Bees have been flying like crazy looking for anything.  I did put some pollen substitute out in the feeder, with some reluctance since it is a bit early. Then again, a couple years ago when I checked in February queens had been busy laying so it probably is time.  Unfortunately that year, we had a very late (early March) sub-zero temperature overnight and the hive, totally out of cluster, froze out.  So, fingers are crossed.
I have 3 hives currently, two of which for sure went into the winter with queens.  The third either was queenless or she just stopped laying.  Hoping for the latter.  We will see.  I still have the winter wraps on and will continue to do that until March for sure.
We made winter patties and the bees have hardly tou…