Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few Summer Thoughts

So its been a long while since I posted anything bee related. Been far too busy with both bees and moving into a new house to discuss much… But so far this has been one of the best seasons I can remember even before I had bees. So far there seems to still be a little nectar coming in from clover and misc wild flowers so that’s good as usually our flow has pretty much stopped by mid june. I am going to be extracting honey this weekend and hope to have plenty to sale, but we shall see… Most of my thoughts recently have been around building hives up and how to control late season swarming as I plan to overwinter mostly single deep and double medium hives. I also want to max out my equipment and basically go into winter with nothing in storage. So we shall see how this goes. For those of you who may have been wondering, this year I don’t plan to start pollen patty feeding until the first of August and stop about mid September, in years past I have fed until they stop taking it, but have found the hives to be slightly larger than I would want and harder to keep food in front of them, however in singles I will have to feed anyway and they should minimize their population much like fish grow to their tank size, I see this in my overwintering nucs… they grow to the size they need in the space they have… Also i have a few new breeders I am going to be grafting from this year as well for fall queens, several have 4-6 honey supers on them at the moment so working them is not easy so I have not grafted from them yet… However, I have been grafting from others and now have 2 new Inseminated breeders from Glen Apiaries to try which are a pure Carni and the new Pol-Line from the USDA. The Pol-Line may be more Italian than I want, but breeding with my Carnis and other mutts I have should provide a good continual mix of both wintering ability and honey production as well as gentleness. So I hope it works out.. only time will tell. The other things I havnt discussed is next years nuc plans, Nuc sales were great this year and I could have sold more, but the one thing I learned was I sold too many different types, 4 types in total. In 2013 I will sell only 1 type and that will be spring made deep 5 frame nucs. What happened was with 4 types it turned into a management issue and was a royal pain for me to manage. I know this may disappoint some as I will not be selling medium nucs, but time may change that who knows. What I may do with those is increase the price and include a bottom board, wooden 10 frame box, and additional 2 foundation frames. This way I can still sell medium nucs to those few that want them. So I hope all is well and remember you need to be preparing NOW for any fall treatments or feeding that you may need.