May 24, 2011
My queens have arrived as I had planned. 150 May 11 and 200 May 18. So far I have been able to use 175 in splits and re queening and the rest wait in the closet until the weather allows me to work through the hives. This has been one of my most frustrating springs to deal with. I usually run into a few days of bad weather during the split, but this year seems to have the dreary days drag on. I also have another 200 coming 1st week of June to make up nucs. I have the bees to do this, but I need the weather to cooperate and allow me to get the work done.
Other than the weather, the split is going very well. The hives are in good shape, and I have been able to modify my work to make work go alot faster. I have also figured out a way to quicken my split up for next year which allows for a hired hand in the yard and manage unfavorable weather better. The way Im doing things now is great, if the weather is good. But when the weather turns sour like this year, I have queens waiting in the closet for too long. I have always had trouble with developing a splitting method that allowed a hired hand to quicken things up.
Cold springs are hard on bees. I have had my hives inspected by the provincial inspectors, and everything looks good, except for my Nosema levels which test at Moderate severity or a 1. Im thinking this might be a reason why some of my queens arent performing as Id like them to, bit spotty. But I also blame that on the weather. Higher Nosema is indicative to a cold wet spring. On my next feeding round I am thinking of adding Fumagillin to a quick gallon of thin surip. I want them to ingest the medication to help relieve the Nosema levels. Then after that I might bulk them up on heavy surip to get them to the crop flow. Who knows when that will be this year.
I have been pinching many queens off this year, anything chalkbrood or spotty and inserting a good mated OHB queen to replace her. I have been a bit more aggressive on requeening this year becasue I am thinking some of my troubles are related to queen failures. I have ordered lots of queens just to enable myself to cull a higher number during my split. So far I have been using a queen on 70% of my hives. And of that 35% go into a full split, and the other 35% go into queen replacement. By the way the numbers are adding up, I will not make up for my losses. But thats why I bought in my 90 packages. And by the way, they look great!
Posted by Ian Steppler at 11:12 AM | Permalink