A watchful eye

Well, I can do better with Spring hive management. It seems so much of beekeeping is developing a keen eye while inspecting and knowing how to read the comb on the frames and how to address varying situations within the hive.

Another swarm retrieved

As for swarms and their retrieval the less stressful and more practical way is get the queen in the box and the others will march right in. Takes patience and a keen eye. . . . Oh no, I found another queen in the swarm?? What?? How can that be? I have always heard the queen mother leaves the colony with roughly have the half population. Never heard about virgin queens in the swarm but I did a couple nights ago during a live chat on YouTube. Thankfully this new information was made known to me. Just when you think you have things somewhat figured out, lol.

So far I have learned a ton about Spring management first hand. The bees have taught me some tough yet amazing lessons. Not just about their behavior and biology but also about life. This is my third year of beekeeping and by far the toughest because my bees have done so well coming out of Winter. This Spring has seen an abundance of pollen and nectar along with favorable temperatures and sunshine. The past two years weren’t so. What a difference it has made. Its like bees gone wild here. This intense activity has run me ragged not to mention the fretful sleepless nights.

We plan and believe for the best in what we do. I was surprised and upset when I discovered the hive bench had broken from a weak leg. When I looked at the back bee yard this early evening all I saw was the familiar swirling of airborne honey bees! Yikes. Upon my arrival to inspect what was going on I found the three hives were upside down because the bench had fallen over.

Broken bench and upset hives

All we can do in life is our best. Sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. When it goes south we have a decision to make. Be the victim or rise above and tack a different course. It hurts when all your energy fails to produce the desired results. But if you are willing to take a hard look there is always a lesson to be learned to make you strongly successful!

Multiplication and Manipulation

The apple blossoms have come and are almost gone. Often the apple blossoms get frost bit but not this year! The dogwoods are blooming along with some unidentified trees. This all signals the nectar flow is on and food is in abundance. The bees are building up furiously. The April rains have subsided and May has brought the arrival of the returning Baltimore Orioles!

Two colonies have been relocated to a location 7 miles away. Another colony will be moved there next week. There will be another out yard a couple of miles away as well.

My apiary has doubled in size with all the splitting and swarm catches. I’ve transformed from a backyard beekeeper to a hobbyist. I am developing my queen grafting and colony management all with a view to share the increase and recoup some of the investment I have made.

Found and caged the queen. Then placed her on top of the frames . . .
The rest came marching in