June 21, 2012
The flow has started! Honey boxes are leaving the honey house. It all starts again
Posted by Ian Steppler at 11:52 AM | Permalink
June 16, 2012
Everything has been working just about as planned. I still feel behind but its more so Im just a bit over worked at the moment. I have been putting in 12 to 15 hour days just to try to get all the work done but I am starting to see everything unfolding as planned. I have decided to try to cut my work load during this honey pull by arranging different hive arrangements. I have 550 double chamber Boomers, I have 400 single splits and I have 250 5 frame nucs. Each arrangement is set up differently and each arrangement has their own work and timing demands. I only have enough equipment to handle 700 hives so this will help me spread the boxes out. I have 300 boxes worth of foundation ready to go and also 900 new and dipped honey boxes to incorperate into my operation culling out old cracked holey boxes. It was about time I replaced some of these old boxes! right now Im making my last round throught the hives before the supers go on early this coming week. I have decided to put a bit of back work into the hives and reverse the boxes. The hives are big, and just starting to build cups, so a reversal of the boxes will give them a bit more space until the supers are placed on. Clover is blooming and the canola is about a week away, so the flow is close. I have also decided to put a gallon of feed on per hive. They have enough honey to get them to next week but while working the boxes I noticed the bees were stalling on the foundation I have provided them to work on. Two sheets per hive is alot of work during a low flow period so a gallon of feed is a good investment at this time. My nucs are laying and Im very impressed with how they look so far. I shal see how they progress. Again, alot is going to get done this coming week. Hope the weather cooperates!
Posted by Ian Steppler at 12:35 PM | Permalink
June 11, 2012
Should be done my nuc project tomorrow. The first 120 queens introduced very well and are already laying. All I need now is for the weather to cooperate so that I can finish my work. During my round I went through my queen celled nucs. They look very good, all 30 or so are laying with only 2 that did not queen properly. Im very happy with this mating success and I have also noticed successful mating through out other hives throughout my operation.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 04:13 PM | Permalink
June 09, 2012
Work with the Philippine workers went very well. I am very impressed with these guys. Their english was great and they were both very familiar with honeybee work. On our three days we queen checked all 430 split hives, supered them for space, built 120 nucs and pulled all my Apivar strips. The day after they left my work fell back to my normal pace and again, Im getting behind. Next year I am going to hire at least one full time worker. The hives are building very well, and they will be needing space asap. I was thinking of making a feeding round but Im starting to see clover peak through and do not feel like spending another whack of money on feed. Most have lots of honey in store yet, so I will just spot feed as I proceed with my next round. Right now Im pulling marked problem hives, checking for improvement and cutting down any that dont hold potential into nucs. Looks like Im going to end up with 230 or so nucs this year. My nuc set up is working very well. This next week I will have gotten through most of my yards and then its on to supering. One last round shifting strength and supering them up. Thats it, thats all the brood work Im doing with the hives for this year. Im am very happy with the way they look and thinking if I dont get a jump on the flow Im going to fall behind once again.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 11:42 AM | Permalink
June 03, 2012
I have given my splits a gallon of feed, which is almost consumed now and will be adding a second box on them soon as they finish their feed. I have been assessing a few more hives on queen acceptance and most every hive has queened very well laying one or two frames of eggs already. I have run into a bit of a problem that I do not usually have with making splits, I have had a few splits cast off swarms because of lack of space! All my splits are about 8 frames of bees but I didnt reduce some of my bigger splits enough so I have found 12 that have casted off a small swarm. Bit annoying, next time I will spend more time ensuring the splits are not too strong but basically just a detail at this point, the other 400 are working along as I had planned.
I have some off shore help coming to help me over the next three days. These guys are from the Philippines and are on a work exchange with a beekeeper from Starbuck. I am getting them for three days as other producers are getting their help for a few days as part of helping them gain experience amongst a variety of operations. I have a bunch of work lined up but I think I will use these guys to pull strips out of the hives. Im way behind and that would be a good job to get done with a crew of guys. Then its sorting foundation into some boxes and adding seconds to my splits. That should use up three days and should give me a boost with my work load right now. I have 200 queens also coming this week, so if I can get these other jobs done early in the week, I will have the later part of the week to make up nucs. Busy busy! I have decided to delay my feeding because the hives are heavy with dandilion and wild flower honey. If the clover doesnt look close by next week I might make a round with a gallon.
Spraying is going well. We have finally found some days that were not windy! The forecast is good with sun and heat. We plan on getting caught up with the spraying next week. Crops look good. I am seeing canola staged in a various numbers of stages now. All from rosette ready to send up a flower to canola that is being re sewed because of rain damages. Id say most of the canola around my yards are in the cotoleden to the two leaf stage. Perfect for my bees!
Posted by Ian Steppler at 09:36 AM | Permalink
June 01, 2012
Sold the last of my sale hives. I am quite happy with how things went. I hadnt advertised other than here on my blog. If conditions permit, I think Im going to sell some again next year. I will see how many nucs I make up this next week.
Posted by Ian Steppler at 10:34 AM | Permalink21