And we’re off…!

It’s been a while since my last post.  Thanks to good weather I’ve had little time to spare so I haven’t been posting as much as I’d like.  At my last post news was not good.  We lost a lot of hives this year.  While we were still in winter mode awaiting spring, it suddenly jumped right to summer with May delivering day after day of high 90’s and little rain.  Blooms were good, but the dry weather did little in the way of nectar for the bees.  The pollen was great though, and the hives built up quickly.  I did my queen rearing a month late due to weather, but still got 8 new queens to add to my surviving 4.  I split several hives to receive them.  I also spent time with all the failed hives cleaning up frames and boxes, painting them and doing repairs as needed.  We also added some new equipment this year.

Despite the bad year for survival, we had a great year in terms of yard availability.  We’ve been hoping to add new yards to the mix for a variety of flavor, increased stability in case a yard gets hit by severe weather, skunks or whatnot, and to improve the drone population in the area surrounding our main queen mating yard.  In addition to the farm to the South, we’ve added a new yard to the North, and another to the West.  Both of these new locations are in quiet secluded spots hosted by great people!  This will add to my driving and time spent, but should be well worth it in years to come.

Once queen rearing was done, and splits made, I was able to get the farm back to eight hives, and two hive each at the new yards.  I also got a few swarm traps out (no catches yet though).  Now it’s time to do another round of splits and queen rearing for fall.  We’ve got several hives from last year that may be doing well enough to give us a bit of honey this summer, but we’ll have to wait and see for that around July.

A lot has gone on so I’ll keep it short and offer a gallery of photos.  I hope you enjoy them.

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