2011, it looks like we’re not going to harvest any honey this year. We’ve heard it’s been a bad crop for a lot of bee keepers. Bees do not like to venture out when it’s raining so this spring gave them a really late start. By the time they did get out, the bees had been eating as they collected, had no stores, and with the heat, what little honey was put away was used for their food and brood. So to give them some stores for winter, we are going to have to start feeding them. We’ll hope for the best for next year. In the meantime, soon we will be doing a hive inspection and later on in the fall we’ll be “winterizing” our bees. We’ll post dates and anyone is welcome to come watch for awhile.
In early April 2011, we’ll be having another bee install day. We’re splitting a hive, adding a new one, and re-queening the rest. It will be a first for us, so come out and watch us freak out many tens of thousands of bees while we try to get everything sorted out. See our schedule or our facebook page if you’d like to attend.
The bee install can be terribly exciting. The bees themselves are very docile in their package because they don’t have honey or brood to protect, but having 10,000 bees in your hand has a way of making you forget a fact like that.
On April 3, 2010 we invited folks out to watch us install our first 3 hives of bees and have some farm fresh chicken. The week before the install we were hammering away, putting those hives together. We bought the hives and packages of bees from Kelley Bee Company of Clarkson KY, and happily recommend going with them if you’d like to get into your own bees.
One 2010 colony swarmed off, but the other 2 hives produced a small excess of Sweet, Sweet Honey in 2010. We may be making candles, depending on how much extra comb our little guys make for us.
See also: tag:Bees