Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bee Musing

I go into the bees tomorrow with a woman who's got the "Bound to's & Can't help it's" about beekeeping. She really, really, really wants to have bees in her tiny suburban yard. I know how she feels, though. I was the same way and tried to talk myself out of beekeeping for a couple of years. Now I have about 30 hives, more or less. She's due here at 7AM and we'll look into all the hives, checking for queens, joining up the ones that are queenless, supering, and checking on the health of the brood since their bout of AFB. I plan to go into all of them over the next few days... in the cool early mornings. Since our current cool weather has gone.
Most of the splits need to be prepared to go into the winter by adding the supers that they can start storing their honey in.
Some of the larger hives have got some nice honey already and need to have it moved up into the upper box to free up space for the queen to lay in the lower box. I aim for 3 mediums for overwintering as both honey storage and brood box, so now is the time to get them drawing comb for their winter storage. Since I have Russian type bees they winter on much less honey than Italians. They are known for having small clusters and being very cold hardy. Mine seem to build up fairly fast in the spring, and will swarm before they've even filled out their brood box.
And this is the time of year to order next spring's queens from Purvis Bros @ Mountain Honey. I am pleased with the development of the one's I got this spring and will test them by not treating for varroa this fall or next spring. I expect to lose half of my hives and split from them to build up again next year. Of course, I'll feed them the HFCS I held back from last year's order.

No comments: