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BeeKeeping

Posted 3/3/2016 8:38pm by Renee Savary.
Beekeeping … has been hard on so many levels … At first I was so freaking scared of them !! it may sound silly but when you have thousands of them swarming around you : it is impressive … then I started with the wrong material/bees and I had no clue what I was doing too …
Moving forward a few years and I did improve a little. I got myself one of those astronaut overall that makes you feel safe to be an astronaut therefor safe around the bees … and I got better at it or I thought so.
Last year started well and I, finally, had it kind of under control but then the bees started to swarm like crazy, I could not keep up installing new hives to a point I run out of material, all my new hives were swarming away and I had a very limited time to take care of them …
One thing or the other and they ended up producing very very little honey.
Let me open a parenthesis here : I don’t feed my bees any high fructose syrup or give them soy protein or whatever is common practice in the commercial bee industry.
I usually only harvest the honey in the spring, up to early July in a good year,  and then let the bees build their reserve for the winter. Last year they did not produce much in the spring, not enough for me to harvest and everything they had I just left it in the hives. I also don’t open my hives all the time, I do a complete clean up in the spring and fall and then just the top box for harvest. Last fall due to many other “things” I did not even do the fall cleanup … and I was pretty sure they would not pass the winter … and I was quite miserable about it … To a point that I was considering just giving up and I had not pre-ordered any new bees for this year.
 
bees 2016
 
Then one day, a month or so ago, one of my client asked me when I will have honey again and I told her all my sad bee story and how discouraged I was and right there she gave me a check for the bees or, she added, for something nice for me if I was not getting the bees …
I thought that was so nice it gave me the kick I needed and I decided to go forward and did order 3 packages of bees that should be arriving in April.
I also did reorganize time wise how I would take care of the bees, giving them much more time than in the past. It started last week and I finished it today. I went through all the hives and I am happy to report that most of them did survive the winter, a few are in really good shape and a few are a little weak but should do better with the spring arriving. They all have an active Queen and I should start to split at least 3 of them soon if weather permit and they are building honey too.
Let’s hope we have a great honey honey production this year … To be continued …  
 
In the meantime make sure you are planting flowers ... everywhere .. we need to help those pollinators ... all of them not just the bees ...
 
Check our Apiary tab in the top left corner of our main page
http://www.twinoaksfarm.net/about-bees