Have been checking the ladies off and on when the temps get in the upper forties or higher. Looks like I managed to over winter two of my six hives. As depressing as a 33% survival rate is, I did pretty well. My neighbor lost all five of his hives, and another fellow beek with 20 plus hives going into winter just ordered replacement packages.
Mine haven't been using the sugar cakes to this point, so hopefully the early pollen will burst forth followed by the nectar of spring and they will start building up without the sugar.
So what does a hopeful beekeeper do when it is still to cool to work in the Apiary? Work in the shop - assembling frames and swarm boxes.
And as my father-in-law used to say, "There are better days ahead if we never see them."
Post by pokeyjeeper on Mar 27, 2017 21:17:29 GMT -5
Good to hear some of your ladies survived the winter still don't have my swarm traps built life's been crazy for the last month but a few of the local beeks around here tell me June is swarm month so I have time yet
Is that a swarm trap pictured? How are they different from a nuc?
Pictured is my jig for assembling frames with a bunch of frames in the jig and in the background. I glue and staple them with narrow crown staples. Ten frames at a time makes the process move right along.
My swarm traps are just plywood boxes about the size of a standard nuc, but twice as tall. They have about the same volume as a 8 frame deep. Hang the trap with five well used frames and some lemon grass oil for bait. Will post pics when I get a chance.
I have been making bee equipment , most of the winter. Just finished a dozen, screened bottom boards Our snow in Ontario is gone, hopefully. The bees are flying the last few days when it is warm enough. They are bringing in lots of pollen. Our tree buds are just starting to open. Saw some pussy willows the other day. Usually bring my wife a spring bouquet of them. Both my hives survived , I thought one was weak , but lots of bees, now. The field on my farm will be seeded down to alfalfa and clovers, this spring . so should be lots of honey. Hope everyone has a good season. old243
Cleaned up the apiary. Two hive made it through and are doing well - still had plenty of winter stores and wher hanging out on the top of the hives. Did a reversal to get them down with enough brood space to kick the year in gear. Lots of pollen and nectar from the maples coming in. Frames of capped brood is giving me hope.
Trying to knock down my swarming issues from last year. Would rather keep them or split them than try and catch them when they leave.
Let's keep the bees healthy and have a great year.
Bees are active on this great spring day. Lots of fresh pollen and bringing in nectar, no idea where they are getting either. My strong hive will be ready for a split in a couple weeks - six full frames of capped brood in the middle box. Drones are just starting to chew out.
So nice to be working the bees in the sun with a gentle breeze and hear the neighborhood pheasant rooster call and turkeys answer.
Our weather in Ontario, has been quite cold still some frost some nights. Checked them yesterday. The two bottom brood boxes are plugged full of bees. We want to split them but the weather is quite cold . Put a super box on each with foundation not drawn out, as I have no drawn comb. Hopefully they will use the extra room, and get it drawn out. The first nice stretch of weather , we will split them. I have 3 swarm traps out , hope to get some action. One is an old 10 frame deep , with lots of propelis and comb still on walls. Should smell good to a bee. Also some lemon grass oil inside in a baggie. Finally got my equipment made and painted, it was a good winters project. Hope everyone have a good spring and summer. old 243
Well done BK. Have you had issues with the ladies with all of the rain that has been hitting your neck of the woods as of late?
They have been holed up in their hives way tooooo much. Planning on an inspection on Saturday, if possible. My guess is they are getting congested and using their honey stores from apple blossom time. Will soon see, hunt4it.
Weather has been odd here in NW Wisconsin, to say the least. Lots of rain and storms. Figured the ladies would be bursting the hives after being cooped up for almost a solid week and I'd be having swarming issues when the weather took a turn for the better. Got off work early - that's what happens when you have OT and you can't have OT. Spent some quality bee time. Hives were full of brood. My strong hive had 14 full frames of capped brood. I was so focused on getting my smoker going and shutting down the bear fence that I forget to put my veil on. First time I every did a full inspection of a hive with no veil. That was a mistake I remedied for the next hive - better safe than sorry. Very docile hive, for which I am thankful. End up doing a split and probably should have done a couple. Not as much honey as I'd like to see but they are making the gold.
If you haven't checked your bees lately, make it a priority. Swarm season is upon us. Good luck, bees.