June 27, 2010
Started supering the hives June 16, working the largest yards first. Miami started blooming well ahead of the rest of my area, and those hives responded quickly. Should finnish this comming week ending with the splits. I made them work two boxes with some foundation to work on so they should start storing surplus with in the next couple of weeks.
This year we have a good spread of crops. THe canola sewed early is well into its bloom, id say 50% with at least a couple of weeks left. And by then I have a later canola crop just starting its bloom. Alfalfa is well past our 20% bloom stage for cutting, but the weather isnt sure enough to cut. Bees are working those fields nicely.
If all works out, it could be a good honey year. We shal see how it all spins out.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 09:15 PM | Permalink
June 06, 2010
My split work went very well. I have gained tremendous hive strength from the weather we received in April, and I have been able to make full splits off of 67% of my hives. I usually expect a 35% split. Kind of caught me off guard, I am scrambling to make up equipment.
I split my hives differently this year. What I did was took the bottom strength, shook them out into the bottom empty box and placed the split above an excluder on top of the hive. I then came back the next morning, after the bees covered the brood nicely and took the split to another yard. This way I did not have to find the queen allowing me to quickly sift through the hive sorting strength in good time. Much easier to schedule my hive work. Only problem is I was dealing with alot of bees, and on day the temp reached near 30 degrees, the bees would bunch and roll out of the hive. Kind of frustrating but I managed. It took bit more time. I am thinking I dont need to be so through shaking all the bees from my split. Seemed like smoking them down worked fine. Perhaps next year I will not be so fussy. Smoking and not having to shake them will save alot of time.
My queen situation was a bit frustrating. My supplier, Oliveraz queen company had to cut back on their pre orders, shorting me all my first order of 150 queens. After some heavy persuading, I managed to get 50 Oliveraz and 100 New Zealand. Next week my full order came of 200.
I managed to make up 287 splits and re queened 70 or so hives. The hives are looking real good. I am about to make my next round this coming week.
I have started feeding the hives. Watering the syrup down to 50% solution, the hives still sucked the barrel down in a few days. Going to keep the feed to them til the clover blooms. Looks like bloom in 2 weeks or sooner.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 09:18 PM | Permalink