Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bees Update - Late March, Early April

Five alive!   All four of my hives made it through the winter.

The one on the far right lost a queen after the buildup started and I swiped some frames of eggs and larvae from other hives to get them through so they can make their own queen.   The first time they failed to even try, so I did it again a couple of weeks ago and this time I see that they're bringing pollen in so I think they got a clue and are making a new queen.

The pink hive in the middle is a split from the duck hive, which was a nuc I bought from Bedford, Indiana last year.   It lazed all year not doing much, but survived the winter and built up super fast this spring.   Two whole boxes of brood by the end of March, so I split one off.   I'm hoping to get a couple more splits off this hive this year.  The original nuc came from a guy who depends on good breeding stock for treatment free bees.  Always a good thing.

Since I got the bees through the winter, I've realized that I have a whole new set of things to think about - like dealing with mite issues, watching for 2nd year diseases, managing for expansion or honey, treatment or not?, etc.    The treat or not treat issue is a hot topic on the forums.  I found [or rather it found me....] a forum specializing in treatment free bees.   Such a change in perspective!  A new way of thinking about management.  I'll be learning a lot this year.

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