The last two weeks got away from me; by the time I got into the hives the ladies had managed to draw out about seven of the ten frames and build some burr comb where the missing frame was. They were extremely docile and seemed to be going strong.
While I was suited up, I also peeked into the other two older hives. Even with the early season swarming the hives were overrun with bees. They hadn’t began to pull on the frames in the supers, but I expect them to soon.
Here are some pics from the inspection: Read more
“A swarm in May is worth a load of hay,
A swarm in June is worth a silver spoon,
A swarm in July isn’t worth a fly.”
Late season swarming and a long, extremely cold winter resulted in the lost of five of our eight hives. Our two remaining hives have been going strong this winter and just recently swarmed.
“Swarming: the natural means of reproduction of honey bee colonies. A new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees, a process called swarming. In the prime swarm, about 60% of the worker bees leave the original hive location with the old queen. This swarm can contain thousands to tens of thousands of bees. Swarming is mainly a spring phenomenon, usually within a two- or three-week period depending on the locale, but occasional swarms can happen throughout the producing season.” (Source: Wikipedia) Read more
Winter is in full swing… so not much to do with my bees except leave them alone. Soon however, I will be ordering two more packages of bees in hopes of avoiding the chaos of last spring… which was the result of ordering too late in the season and a bad first time experience with Draper’s (long story short, I won’t be ordering from them again. If you are ordering bees and want to know why, just ask and I will give you the long version).
This year, I am going to placed my order with Rossman Apiaries. The 2009 package bees with queen run about $62.00 per package. If I place my order now, I will get earlier delivery dates, allowing the bees to get established before the first nectar flow in the spring. Spring will be here before I know it!
This spring I decided to act on a interest in beekeeping and purchased two hives which are almost through their first spring and summer seasons and doing great. I would recommend this to everyone. There is a little start-up cost for hives, equipment, and bees, but little work and great rewards. Unfortunately, due to getting my bees hived so late in the season, no honey this year. However, next year I am looking forward to getting more hives and a lot of honey. Read more