Been a while…

Yes, writing for this site is something I should pay more attention to.

As we ramp up to spring, here is where my bees stand so far.

First, it’s been a cooler than average spring, unlike last year.  I finally saw my first dandelion last week, which is a couple weeks late.  We are having some days in the 70’s in Iowa that is really making things pop, but in a few days we’re going crash back down into the 30’s.

As I noted in a quick twitter post a while ago, all of my full size hives – 10 of them – survived the winter well and are thriving.  2 out of 5 nucs survived.  The other 3 unfortunately starved, which is making me rethink my winter nuc methods.  There is one of those nucs that looked very week earlier this month, so I may lose that one as well.

When doing a quick check and adding a 3rd deep to two of the hives, I saw sealed drone brood so I will start some nucs next week if weather permits.

I really can’t  be happier with the results.  The nucs were disappointing, but they were really only there to back fill if any of the main hives didn’t survive.  Fortunately they weren’t needed for that.  Two of the hives were really strong and seemed to hardly use any winter stores.  There was probably still 70+ pounds of honey left on those.  I’m going to make extra efforts to make sure those queen lines continue.

I can’t stress enough that I don’t use any treatments, or any other extraordinary methods for varroa or disease control.  I use screened bottom boards but no other method of IPM.   The only foundation I’ve used is plastic covered with my own wax in order to avoid contamination.  But, I am working my way towards foundationless because it is more natural, and frankly I’m cheap and lazy!

One Response to Been a while…

  1. Emily Heath says:

    Great news, well done!

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