Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Early Spring 2015 Update

Lots of drone brood. A good sign.
Hard winter! It has claimed 75% of my small bee yard this year. Truthfully, It started with the crazy Spring last year. The three out of four hives that didn't make it all had at least one thing in common: high winds upended them all at different times during the Spring / Summer / Fall, and along with other factors, they didn't have much of a chance of survival in the harsh Winter that they faced.

The lone hive that survived it's second winter with flying colors is doing great, as shown. I took a look at her today and here's what I found:

Date: March 24, 2015
Weather: high 60s, mostly sunny, breezy

Lots of bees, lots of worker and drone brood, and plenty of stores. This hive is healthy. We're expecting a cold snap this weekend, and, after that, I expect she won't be too far from swarming mode.

God's amazing creatures.
Some observations from last year's experience:
  • Any splits that are made, I plan to feed until they stop taking, and then any time they experience dearth during the first season, just to give them a chance to make it through the winter.
  • I have experimented with different ways to anchor the boxes so they won't be ravaged by the high winds. I also need to get some trees on the west side of the yard for a little added protection.
  • Late summer checks will be more thorough, in order to make sure the hives are prepared for the winter.
I have yet to make any real "honey harvest", period, from any of my colonies. It's not a problem for me. The main concern is the bees' hardiness. The survivor colony has made it through two winters, now, and they look to be going strong. Now, if only I can not mess it up!
Spring is here!!!

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